TAMPA - As the school bell signals the end of another day at Lee Elementary School of Technology, a desk remains empty in room 107.
"When she was talking to you she made you feel as if you were the most important person in the world," said Principal Robin Johnson Hewitt.
Posing in the middle of a faculty picture, first grade teacher Tiffany Messingham's bright smile stands out.
"Tiffany was very humble. She gave without looking for anything in return," Johnson Hewitt said.
Principal Robin Johnson Hewitt said she always worked to make others happier. Tiffany's fellow teachers agree.
"If I was going through something and she was she would forget about her problems for the moment and concentrate on how you are doing," said Teacher Marci Schiele.
More than just making others feel special, co-workers said it was the way she interacted with her students that will keep her memory going.
"She was able to use her positivity and bring them up and build them up and make them feel better about themselves and more confident," said Teacher Summer Montgomery.
Over winter break, doctors found a bump on Tiffany's tongue. A biopsy determined she had cancer. Tiffany had surgery and then doctors found another tumor. This one on her pancreas.
Tiffany always planned to return to the students and classroom she loved, but this weekend she died unexpectedly in her sleep.
"One of her great fears that she had was that people would forget about her and that she would no longer have a place here at Lee. That could never happen . She still has a place at Lee," said Johnson Hewitt.
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