Thomson Middle students, faculty mourn beloved teacher

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News 12 First at Five, November 26, 2007

WARRENTON, Ga. - Faculty and students at Thomson Middle School are mourning the death of a teacher.

Mary Beth Newsome was a 6th grade language arts teacher at Thomson Middle school.

GBI agents say her body was found off of Highway 123 outside of her car on an unmarked trail in the woods Saturday morning in Warren County.Investigators say there is no evidence of trauma to the body.

At the middle school, the flag is flying half-staff.

"She had a way of connecting with kids. She expected the most out of them and by setting expectations high kids usually excel," said Principal Claude Powell who has known Newsome since she started her teaching career.

Mrs. Newsome was a teacher of 22 years and the 2007 Teacher of the Year. She was a wife for over thirty years, mother of two and had two grandchildren.

Principal Powell says she was always smiling.

"She loved children and children loved her and she was well, well respected amongst the faculty. She was just a pillar among middle school faculty," said Powell.

Counselors from each school in McDuffie County went to Thomson Middle Monday to help console students and faculty.

Powell says things are going to be different, but they have to keep pressing forward -- for the children's sake.

"I tried to explain to the children too, this is what Mrs. Newsome would want. She'd want them to continue with their education and continue to put forth their best effort," said Powell.

Warren County Coroner Paul Lowe says the autopsy report is pending toxicology.

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