Liberty Local Schools, community go purple in support of injured principal

Local News

Jessica Kohler was badly hurt in a car accident last Friday in Austintown

LIBERTY, Ohio (WKBN) – Last Friday, the principal of Guy Elementary School in Liberty was in a car accident. It left her with major injuries and a long road of recovery ahead.

Jessica Kohler’s students and staff felt helpless when they got word but started brainstorming, what can we do to help her? On Friday, they found a way to show their support.

All different shades of purple were in the hallways and the classrooms at the elementary school. It was everyone’s way of telling Kohler that they are there for her.

“A lot of us were able to get together and start planning, what are we gonna do next for Jessica? Jessica has done so much for us,” said Andrew Scarmack, assistant principal for pre-K through 6th grade.

“They said, ‘Let’s do a purple for Jessica day!'” said Pam McCurdy, curriculum director and Kohler’s cousin.

Purple is Kohler’s favorite color, so students and staff all wore it one week after her accident.

“Our students love Jessica, they love their Mrs. Kohler. So kids have just been sending in pictures actually, even before today, of them wearing purple in honor of her,” McCurdy said.

Kohler has been the principal for three years at Guy Elementary. She has been with the district for closer to 10 years, leaving her mark with everyone she works with.

“She’s an inspiration to all of us. When she comes into a building, people know it’s gonna be positive. She’s such a positive person,” Scarmack said.

On Friday, it was their turn to inspire her on her journey to healing.

Plus, it wasn’t just Guy Elementary and other Liberty schools wearing shirts that read “Purple for Mrs. Kohler” and “Principal Strong.”

“It’s all over the place. So many school districts across not just this county but across multiple counties and even across the state have really gotten involved,” McCurdy said.

Pictures have come in from places like Boardman and Sharon. Even pets are wearing purple for Kohler.

They’re not sure how long it will take her to return to the office but when she does, she’ll be greeted with a lot of love.

“When she walks back in, I mean, there’s gonna be tears. There’s gonna be excitement, laughter, love. You can’t really determine what it’s gonna be because there’s gonna be a whole bunch of emotions when she walks through those doors again,” Scarmack said.

One of the parents made some of the shirts, sold them and then donated the money to the Kohler family.

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