Kathleen Hwang, elementary school principal, struck and killed

(Photo: Linkedin)

Kathy Hwang, 60, was more than an elementary school principal. She was a mother, grandmother, mentor and friend.

Hwang was killed the day before Thanksgiving, when police say she was hit by a car while trying to cross the road in her Sterling neighborhood.

Loudoun County's superintendent emailed Sanders Corner School’s parents and asked them to share the horrible news with their young ones before they returned to school this morning.

“It was tough, we tried to tell her the good things and how good she was and to remember those,” said Alexis Nicholas, a parent of a child at the school.

“My youngest said that's what he was going to miss was hearing her talk on the announcements every morning,” said parent Sonya Judkins.

Hwang had been principal at Sanders Corner since 2005. All morning on Monday, people stood in silence near a growing memorial for Hwang outside of the school. Her death not only affected the 600 students and their families, but also the staff members who say Hwang considered everyone in the school, her family.

“She was a teacher through and through, and really wanted every student to feel like they were her child,” said Carol Winters, who is the principal at Newton Lee Elementary School.

Hwang was set to retire at the end of the school year.

From a Loudoun County schools statement: "This is a sad time in the life of this vibrant school, and we are grateful for the years of outstanding leadership given to Sanders Corner by Mrs. Hwang since 2005."{ }