By Kevin Deutsch
A former Coral Springs Middle School teacher is being remembered locally for her work with kids after her death in Chicago last month, officials said.
Denise Huguelet, a 67-year-old mother of five, was fatally shot on the city’s Dan Ryan Expressway on Aug. 17 as she and her husband drove home from a charity event at a Chicago White Sox game, according to the Chicago Tribune.
No charges have been announced in her killing.
Huguelet was employed as an interim substitute teacher at Coral Springs Middle School from Oct. 1988 to Feb. 1989, according to Broward County Public Schools. She then worked as a full-time teacher at Coral Springs Middle from Feb. 1989 to Sept. 1991.
Later, the grandmother of eleven spent 24 years as a special education teacher at Evergreen Park Elementary School District 124 in her native Illinois, retiring in 2015, school officials said.
Shelly McInturff, a student of Huguelet’s for three years at Coral Springs Middle School, said if it were not for her beloved “teacher, mentor, and best friend,” she would not have finished school.
“She never gave up on me,” McInturff said. “She would not let myself or any of her students say, “I can’t.”
McInturff followed Huguelet’s path as an educator and now works with elementary school students herself.
“She would not let me give up on that dream,” McInturff said.
Lorraine Chandler, a colleague of Huguelet’s at Coral Springs Middle School, said of her friend: “Denise was pure love.”
“Everyone at Coral Springs Middle School, staff and students, adored Denise,” said Chandler, a Coral Springs resident. “She always gave over 100 percent…I know her spirit will live on in each and every one of [her family].”
Beloved in school for her “great sense of humor and “brilliant” mind, Huguelet was perpetually full of energy, Chandler said.
“Denise made the Energizer Bunny look slow.”
In a Facebook post, Evergreen Park Elementary School District 124 lauded Huguelet’s commitment to her craft.
“Her passion for students and her dedication to the community showed in all aspects of her work,” the staff wrote.
“She cared deeply about the academic needs of students, and the social and emotional well-being of every students’ needs…she was a dear friend to many colleagues who will remember her character as pure, honest, fair and kind.”
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