By: Sabrina Ahmed
An Irving Middle School teacher died suddenly earlier this week. Students and teachers gather to remember him and to say goodbye.
Symone Williams is one of the many students teacher Everett Smith impacted. Williams said she and Smith connected through music and he became more than a mentor to her.
"He meant so much to us. I can say that for all of us—he was like my father. He was always there for me," Smith said.
Williams isn't the only student who looked up to Smith. As the hundreds of students gathered at Irving Middle School to remember the teacher, they shared how he changed their lives.
Smith died suddenly on Tuesday. His wife found him unresponsive near their bed. He died in the hospital shortly after that.
Tre Johnson is now a freshman in college. He said, without Smith leading him down the right path, he doesn't know where he would be.
"Helped guide me to places I never would have even thought of being today if it wasn't for him," Johnson said.
Another student, Royoa Bush, said Smith was also a significant part of her life.
"He was definitely there for me for everything that my dad wasn't there for me for. And now that he's gone, I don't really know what to do, I don't have that anymore," Bush said.
As the students gathered to say goodbye, most had the same message.
"We love you and we miss you and we hope your family's alright and you're in a better place now," Johnson said.
We spoke to Smith's wife. She wanted to say "thank you" to all the people who support her and her family through this tragic time.