29-Year-Old Kentucky Teacher Dies of COVID, Becoming at Least 41st Educator in State Lost to Virus
A 29-year-old math teacher in Kentucky has died just two weeks after testing positive for COVID-19. Joannie Bartley, who taught math at Jenkins Middle High School, was described as a “a special person with a true heart of a teacher,” in a statement from the school district announcing her “unexpected” death. The statement made no mention of the coronavirus, but Superintendent Damian Johnson confirmed to the Lexington Herald Leader that Bartley was being treated for COVID. The young teacher had also taken to Facebook to reveal her diagnosis on Sept. 6, saying she had contracted the virus even though she was always careful and had been vaccinated. According to the educators’ group Kentucky 120 United, which tracks COVID deaths among teaching staff and pandemic-related safety measures in schools, Bartley has become at least the 41st teacher in Kentucky to succumb to the virus since 2020.