NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. — A Pasco County elementary school is accepting book donations after a beloved teacher died this week.
Kayleena Lounsbury died on Sunday after complications from childbirth. Her baby girl Macie died less than 36 hours later.
"She was bubbly, energetic, full of life...when she cared about you, she loved hard especially her students," said Summer Garlic, a former co-worker.
Lounsbury spent the past two years as a teacher at Cypress Elementary School in New Port Richey. She also taught at Calusa Elementary in Pasco County.
Her former principal and former co-workers in West Virginia spoke remotely to ABC Action News.
Lounsbury began her teaching career at Iaeger Elementary School in West Virginia.
"We had just seen her about three weeks ago at her baby shower," said Heather Honosky, a parent.
Heather Honosky said her child had Lounsbury as a teacher.
"She was really big on reading and writing. My daughter loves to read and write now," said Honosky.
Lounsbury's former principal said she was a wonderful employee and loved her students.
"She gave more than most. She worked very hard. She made school exciting for students so students wanted to come, students wanted to be in her classroom," said Sheena Ashby, Principal at Iaeger Elementary School. "The first few years a teacher is in the classroom, you need to provide a great deal of support. You didn't need to support Kayleena, she just knew what she was doing and did it well."
Kayleena recently got married in 2020. Her husband Cooper is asking for people to honor his wife by donating books to the classroom.
"Her husband Cooper wanted to donate books in her honor because she was so excited about reading and that was her goal was to help students become a better reader," said Ashby.
A spokesperson for the Pasco County School District said books may be sent to Cypress Elementary School. People may also make checks payable to Cypress Elementary School c/o the Loundsbury Library.
People may also donate books to Iaeger Elementary School in West Virgina.
For more information visit the GoFundMe page.
More information may be found by clicking on each obituary.