Two metro school districts mourning loss of staff members to COVID-19

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RIVERSIDE, Mo. — On Monday, schools in two separate districts announced that COVID-19 was the cause of death for two people who worked at them.

One person was a long-time paraprofessional. The other was a young woman working to become an athletic trainer.

LeAndra Breann Stang, a young woman who attended the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, died on Sunday, according to administrators at Park Hill South High School.

The school is already planning for a moment of silence in her honor at a football game on Friday, Interim Principal Kerrie Herren wrote in a statement sent to parents.

“Several in our Park Hill South family, particularly those involved in athletics, knew Bre, who was a college student training to be an athletic trainer. She worked with several of our student athletes,” Herren said.

The statement also highlights that when Stang became sick, the school says it followed its “guidelines for quarantine in the case of direct exposure,” but did not expand on what contact she had with staff or student athletes in her role at the school.

In Olathe, parents at Mission Trail Middle School received an alert on the passing of paraprofessional John Hickman.

“John made a tremendous impact on our building and our students on a daily basis. John had been ill for a number of weeks and passed away due to complications from COVID-19. He had not been in the building since September 24,” Dr. Rachelle Waters, Principal of Mission Trail Middle School, wrote.

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