DENVER — Overland High School canceled classes Monday while the Cherry Creek Schools community grieves the sudden and devastating loss of 42-year-old longtime educator, Principal Aleshia Armour.
For years, Armour's deep commitment to equity and excellence influenced and shaped students across the district.
This week, from the homes of thousands of students to the chambers of the Colorado State Capitol, the impact of the Overland High principal is being felt by those who knew her.
"Her key thing was consistency," said Damaris Davis, a junior and football player at Overland. "I felt like her consistency, pushing us and giving us great messages in the morning always pushed us to be better people."
Armour was known for her commitment to the students. Some, like 16-year-old Nyla Pollard, referred to Armour as more of a counselor than a disciplinarian.
"I saw how much she did for my sister, writing recommendations to go to college. Really pushing all of us to be our best selves," Pollard said. "Everybody on social media yesterday, every single student, even the ones who didn’t do that well in school, Mrs. Armour had an impact on their lives. She was one of the few who actually cared."
A vigil came together Sunday evening at Overland, organized and heavily attended by Armour's former students, according to Angela Garland, a director on the Cherry Creek School Board and a parent with four children in the district.
"She was a mentor. She was a role model. I know for a lot of kids, she helped them to see the possibilities. She loved that," Garland said.
Sen. Rhonda Fields also addressed the loss on the Senate floor Monday.
"I stand before you today with a heavy heart," Fields said. "We lost a very gifted principal. She was my oldest granddaughter's first African American teacher."
Fields also noted that Armour leaves behind a husband and three young children, before requesting a moment of silence in the Senate.
"She was excellence for all kids," Garland said of her friend and colleague. "We can keep her alive by approaching our daily tasks as educators or administrators with that same excellence."
Cherry Creek Schools Superintendent Scott Siegfried and the Board of Education put out this statement Monday:
The entire Cherry Creek Schools community is grieving today as we mourn the devastating loss of Overland High School Principal Aleshia Armour.
Aleshia leaves behind a legacy of fearless leadership, empathy and a deep commitment to equity and excellence. Her dedication to the community came through in everything she did – in her work at Overland, schools across the district, and in her interactions and relationships with students, parents, teachers and fellow administrators.
We are grateful for Aleshia shining her light and love on this community.
Today, we stand with Overland.
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