LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Breonna Taylor’s name has echoed in cities around the world. But her tragedy is only part of her story.
Thursday, four Western High School teachers recalled Taylor's time at the school in detail and even showed reporters where she sat in social studies class.
"She was just a natural-born leader that everyone looked up to," said Jennifer Fuchs. Now a Seneca High assistant principal, Fuchs was Taylor's social studies teacher, and described her as a "double threat" in class, with a strong social standing and sense of humor matched by a commitment to schoolwork.
"You had to hear her giggle to truly understand," laughed Nureka Dixon, who is also a Seneca assistant principal and held the same title at Western in 2011, Taylor's senior year.
"She’s not just a name on a hashtag," Dixon later said through tears. "She’s not just a picture on a billboard or a magazine or something that is, for a moment, relevant to pop culture or to people. She was a real person that touched each of our lives very deeply."
The four women, who spoke in Western's library, continue to work for Jefferson County Public Schools. All but Stephanie Holton have changed roles since Taylor's graduation. She has been Western's youth services coordinator for 25 years. We asked her if conversations are taking place with students, as they experience this period in Louisville's history.
"Students have reached out, and they just feel like they need that person," she said." "And I think my job is to listen."
Before the group left, her math teacher, Leah White, read aloud a letter she recently wrote to herself, and to Taylor.
She ended the letter by saying, "Today, as I sift through my selfish emotions, I choose to remember your love and smile, and not let naysayers tarnish your name. I will spread love to all who will listen and share my truths."