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Photo by Zahra Ali.

Photo by Zahra Ali.

By  Zahra Ali, Plainfield North

Plainfield North students and staff dressed in blue at Friday’s spirit assembly to remember Ms. Triplett, who lost her life at the hands of domestic violence last month.

Outsiders may have only known her as a physical education teacher, but to the students and staff at North, she was something more. She was compassionate, dynamic and one of the most genuine people in the community. She inspired excellence with every word, and touched the life of every person she met.

“Everyone loved her. She was well respected. I don’t think there was a single person in the building that didn’t have something nice to say about Ms. Triplett,” said Principal Ray Epperson to WGN.

The school sprang into action to help Triplett’s family. A vigil was held on Oct. 21 at the school, drawing in hundreds from around the community. In addition, a GoFundMe account was created to raise money for Triplett’s children. Students sold blue T-shirts reading, “Those we love don’t go away–they walk beside us everyday” on the back with a quote from Triplett. Purple and blue bracelets were also sold during lunch periods.

The hashtag #TrippStrong was used on Twitter to spread support, while the school newspaper, The Prowler, collected students’ favorite memories of her to publish. In front of the media center, a large banner was hung on the wall filled with hand-written Post-it notes expressing students’ favorite things about her. At the spirit assembly, a few students read aloud “Trip’s Tips,” which are words of advice Triplett gave to all of her students. They read as follows:

Treat people the way you would like to be treated.

Smile at least 5 times a day.

Your attitude each day is your choice.

Take care of your body and mind.

Be a person others can trust and count on.

Don’t stress about things you can’t control.

Do what you can to help others.

Don’t keep unhealthy relationships.

Don’t engage in behavior that could cause “Simba-like” symptoms.

Find something you like to do and work hard.

Go get a summer job in a place you have never been.

Children learn what they live. Be a good example.

Be nice to your siblings. It’s the longest relationship of your life.

Don’t get addicted to anything.

Dream big,

Don’t hate.

Look out for your friends.

Only you can change your life.

I sincerely wish you the best of luck in the rest of your life journey.

Love,

Ms. Triplett

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