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See the latest news and updates about COVID-19 and its impact on the Charlotte region, the Carolinas and beyond.

Teacher At Union County Charter School Dies After COVID-19 Battle

Ken Stanley Union Charter Academy.jpg
Union Academy
Ken Stanley, who died Jan. 30, had worked for Union Academy Charter School for 15 years.

Ken Stanley, a longtime teacher at Union Academy Charter School, died Saturday after contracting COVID-19.

Stanley was a middle school math teacher and coach at the K-12 school in Monroe. The school's communications director, Jennifer Smith, said Stanley had taught in person this fall, but the school had switched to remote learning in January, when he fell ill with COVID-19. She said to the best of her knowledge, "it has not been determined how it was transmitted."

Head of School John Marshall said in a statement that Stanley was "kind, tender and loved his students deeply."

"He was a model to others for being a dad, a parent, a teacher, a friend, and a loved one. He was an expert at connecting with people," said fellow teacher Beth Rushing.

Students and staff members are being encouraged to wear red, gray and white Tuesday — the colors of his beloved Ohio State. Tuesday would have been Stanley's birthday, according to the school's Facebook page.

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Ann Doss Helms has covered education in the Charlotte area for over 20 years, first at The Charlotte Observer and then at WFAE. Reach her at ahelms@wfae.org or 704-926-3859.