Balloon release held for beloved Cordova High teacher

By JENNIFER COHRON, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 12/12/17

Cordova High School students released red balloons Monday morning in memory of Brittany Owens, an English teacher who died unexpectedly last December at the age of 30.

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Balloon release held for beloved Cordova High teacher

Posted

Cordova High School students released red balloons Monday morning in memory of Brittany Owens, an English teacher who died unexpectedly last December at the age of 30.

The balloon release had originally been scheduled for Friday, the first anniversary of Owens’ death, but was canceled after the county received several inches of snow.

Principal Kathy Vintson said she was disappointed that the tribute had to be postponed until a teacher remarked, “Is this not so Brittany?”

“She would have absolutely loved Friday,” Vintson said during a brief assembly program held before the balloon release.

Owens, who was frequently fashionably late to school, likely would have found it difficult to be on time Friday.

“I’m sure she would have had to have taken her kids out to play in the snow knowing that she would have to come in on two wheels to make it on time,” Vintson said. “But she would be very open and honest about it. She would call or text to tell me exactly why she was late, and I would probably tell her that I didn’t blame her at all for spending that time with her family.”

The love that Owens had for her husband, Jeremy, and their children was evident in the daily stories that she shared with coworkers.

Owens found a second family when she transferred to Cordova High School after Parrish High School closed in 2014.

Coworker and friend Ashlyn Blevins recalled welcoming Owens to her new school with a hug at their first meeting.

“I’ve thought about that a lot since then because you don’t always hug people that you have no clue who they are. That’s the kind of person she was, though. She just had a light inside of her that you were drawn to,” Blevins said.

The two quickly became best friends and shared many laughs together. Blevins said her daily Facebook memories are filled with posts from Owens that always make her smile.

“She made life fun for everybody around her,” Blevins said.

Faculty and students celebrated Owens’ joyful, fun-loving personality by wearing their ugly Christmas sweaters to school on Monday.

The gesture was a reminder that Owens has not been forgotten at Cordova High School in the year since her death.

Vintson encouraged students to learn from the legacy that Owens left behind.

“You’re going to have hard times in life, but you don’t have to share all the negativity of this world with everybody around you. You can be like Mrs. Owens and bring joy and love,” Vintson said.

Owens’ pastor, the Rev. David Miller, quoted a verse from Revelations while sharing his memories of her: “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”

“Today when you think about her, think about her life and what we’re celebrating — her love, her compassion, her desire to help others. Those are the things she left behind for us to remember her by,” Miller said.