OAK RIDGE, Tenn. — The Oak Ridge community is remembering the life of a second-grade teacher who died after a car crash last week.
Aimee Dixon taught at Linden Elementary School in Oak Ridge, and "cared deeply about being an educator," according to her coworkers.
“You could just feel the passion that she had for her children and how she really, really wanted to see them succeed, and how she really, really was invested into the field of education," fellow second-grade teacher at Linden Elementary Raven Little said.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol said Dixon was involved in a crash in Morgan County on Monday, September 12. Her car was hit head-on while she was driving on Highway 62, near Big Mountain Church Road.
Dixon died from her injuries on Thursday night.
"When they went down to her car, she said, 'I'm from Linden! I'm a teacher at Linden! You've got to let Linden know because they expect me to be there and be with my kids,' Her first reaction was to take care of other people and make sure that we knew," Dixon's second-grade coworker Melissa Blalock said.
That's the type of person Dixon was. She loved the outdoors and nature. She brought creativity to her classroom and into the world.
Dixon and her husband owned a farm, called Reflection Tree Art Farm. On the farm's Facebook page, the couple regularly posted about art, nature and life in the country. They marketed it as "a place to relax and create."
She also didn't let a day pass by without making others feel special.
“She wanted you to know, you are perfect just the way you are, and that we all show up together, and we do the best we can and we try to enjoy the experience," Blalock said. "She just loved you for who you were.”
Blalock visited with Dixon's family while she was in the hospital, and was hopeful her friend and teaching counterpart would pull through. When Blalock got the message about Dixon's passing, she was in shock.
"That's hard, and then to go to school and be like, 'Okay, y'all, we have got to do this today,' Because we really wanted families to have opportunity to talk with their children over the weekend," Blalock said.
The teachers and staff kept it together on Friday for the students, even though the pain filled their hearts.
“The entire day was a really somber day and it was hard putting on a face for those kids and trying to give them a normal day," Little said.
The teachers are asking for prayers for Linden Elementary School on Monday and in the days after.
"She was an amazing person, and it's a hard thing to understand," Blalock said. "Just pray for our kids tomorrow.”
There will be an empty space in the second-grade classroom on Monday. There are counselors available for students and teachers at Linden Elementary School on Monday.
There is a GoFundMe if you would like to donate to Dixon's family.
The school system sent this letter to families on Friday:
"Tragically, we have received word today that we have lost a beloved member of our Linden Lion family, Aimee Dixon, a second-grade teacher. Aimee was a passionate person who always wanted everyone to know how loved and important they are. When we did Girls on the Run, she made sure every individual girl knew her worth. She was a creative artist inside and outside the classroom. She has been a part of the Linden family for the past ten years. Our dear Aimee will be deeply missed by all of us. We realize this is a difficult time for our school and community. To support our faculty, staff, and students, additional counseling support will be available on-site at Linden all day Monday. Please contact a school administrator or counselor if your child needs additional support."