A beloved art and social studies
teacher in the Monroe County School System passed away on Wednesday
at the age of 60 after a battle with cancer.
Sharon Kay West taught art from
1992-2005, rotating from Tellico Plains Elementary, Tellico Plains
Junior High and Tellico Plains High Schools. In 2005, she began
teaching history at Tellico Plains Junior High School, where she
remained until she was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year.
West was family-oriented and loved life
to its fullest.
"Mom always told me that God gave her
four children for each part of her heart and Dad for the middle," said daughter Misty Hunt, adding that West married her best friend,
Sonny, on Jan. 1, 1977.
After West found out she had cancer,
she always said, "I'm going to beat this!" Granddaughter Hailee
Warren gave her a verse to depend on during her sickness: "Be still
and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will
be exalted in the earth."
"She found comfort in this verse," said Daughter Rachel Warren.
West had three daughters, a son, and
seven grandchildren. Friends remembered how she bragged about "having
the best kids in the world."
"No matter what she was doing, I
could call her anytime. She would stop whatever she was doing and
come to me," she said. "When I was sick, she always played with
my hair and that made me feel better."
The beloved teacher was a "breath of
fresh air" to all those around her.
"Her smile, her sweetness, her caring
uplifting words always left you feeling better when she walked away," said Tellico Plains Junior High School Principal Missy Carter. "No
matter what kind of day you were having, Sharon would always say, 'Don't worry. We can do this and everything will be OK.'"
See full story in the Sunday, Oct. 14, edition of The Advocate & Democrat.