MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – Family and friends are mourning the loss of a Manatee County Public School teacher. Officials say the 28-year-old teacher died over the weekend in an ATV wreck.
Friends describe 28-year-old Tina Ellard as a woman with a kind heart. Her friend, Tabatha Byers says “Outgoing, creative. Her personality was amazing. She was very…I’m trying to not get emotional.” Byers says hearing Ellard had died in an ATV wreck last Saturday was heartbreaking.READ MORE: Manatee County Utilities Considers Expanding Service Area Following Piney Point Breach
Magnusson says Ellard used to work as her children’s preschool teacher.
“I had never put my kids in daycare before and she was so loving to me. She would text me pictures of the kids while I was working,” said Magnusson. She says Ellard was made to work with kids. “I know she comforted them a lot. My two oldest daughters had a little separation anxiety.”READ MORE: Governor DeSantis Signs Controversial Anti-Riot Bill Into Law
Manatee County School District officials say Ellard was working at Buffalo Creek Middle School as a language arts teacher when she died. She had worked at the school since 2019.
“I can only imagine how her students feel, going on Spring Break and their teacher is there and they come back and their teacher is gone,” said Magnusson.
Ellard leaves behind a husband and baby boy. “All we can do is pray for comfort, you know, because there’s nothing we can do to bring her back, and remember her in the loving light that she is,” said Magnusson.MORE NEWS: DUI Saturation Patrol Takes To The Streets Of Pinellas County This Weekend
District officials say Buffalo Creek Middle School Principal Bradley Scarbrough informed his staff over the weekend and a crisis team was on the campus Monday for students and employees.