The Ball-Chatham school district is in mourning.
Sarah Yakus died Saturday at 32-years-old.
Yakus had been a math teacher at Glenwood Middle School since 2008.
She was recently promoted to assistant principal at Glenwood Elementary.
But before the school year could even begin, Yakus' life was cut short.
In just days, students will walk through the doors at Glenwood Elementary for the first day of school, but one smiling face won't be there to greet them.
Assistant principal Sarah Yakus died unexpectedly.
"Shocked is probably a good word. And sad. Everybody is pretty sad. She was a great asset to the school district," said Chatham parent, Kathy McNeill.
Yakus spent several years teaching math at Glenwood Middle School before her promotion this summer.
McNeill says her oldest son, Chase, took 7th grade math with Yakus.
"He really, really liked her a lot. She really connected with the kids and when my husband and i went into for parent-teacher conference, she really made a good connection with us too. And during the conference it was just really reassuring to know that she wasn't just concerned about him as her math student, she wanted to know about the entire him," McNeill said.
By taking a genuine interest in her students, Yakus helped middle-schoolers, like Chase, excel.
"Anytime chase may have had a struggle here or there, she was right there to reassure him. And to provide extra work if he needed it and kind of move him along in his class," said McNeill.
The loss of a teacher who meant so much to so many at the Ball-Chatham School District won't be quickly forgotten.
"I think it's going to have a huge impact on the kids and the community and it's really sad and I think everyone's really going to miss her," said McNeill.
The Ball-Chatham school district says its gathered a team of counselors, social workers and psychologists to provide emotional support for students and staff.
Grief counseling will be provided for students Monday, August 15 from noon to 3 P.M. at Glenwood High School.
Sangamon County Coroner Cinda Edwards says the cause of Sarah Yakus' death is still under investigation.