Dozens Turn Out to Remember Student and Teacher Killed

PEMBERTON, NJ (WTXF)-Dozens turned out for a vigil in memory of a Pemberton student and teacher killed last month.

"It was difficult. I can't even walk by MS. McGinnis's classroom. I have to turn the other way," said a tearful student.

Emotions flowed as students and staff at Helen Fort Newcomb Middle School in Pemberton held a candlelight vigil Thursday night to remeber a dedicated teacher and student killed last month.

"We also are here tonight to shine some light on the darkest times and that is something both Janiya and Allison were good at . They both possessed a gift to brighten a room or any situation," said Superintendent Tony Trombone.

13-year-old 8th grader Janiya Castleberry died two weeks ago from injuries she suffered from a car accident on August 2nd.  29-year-old Allison McGinnis was killed last week when a car hit her while she was jogging. McGinnis taught Language Arts. Nastassia Pankins was one of her students.

"She was a wonderful teacher. If I needed anything I would go to her. I loved her so much," said Pankins.

Heartbroken family members of the victims sat before bleachers filled with people paying their respects.

"Janiya was one of those students who comes into a teachers life once in a great while. She entered our classroom on the first day of school wearing her biggest smile and she let you know from the beginning how much she loved school," said teacher Marvin Hill.

The crowd lit candles and paused for a moment of silence. They vowed never to forget their beloved teacher and classmate.

"Their spirit will always be with us and it's going to be a tough year," said 13-year-old Silas Marrero.
 

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