Carthage teachers use paper hearts to honor life of longtime educator

Paraprofessional Sandra Giseburt passes away at 70

CARTHAGE, Mo. – Over the last couple of weeks, the halls at Carthage Junior High have been pretty much empty.

And now, once school is back in session, there will still be someone missing.

“It’s gonna be really difficult when we come back. She was such a fixture in a lot of our classes,” says Junior High Counselor Rita Waynick.

“We feel like we’ve lost a lot,” adds Junior High Assistant Principal Regina Fields.

On March 24th, paraprofessional Sandi Giseburt passed away.

She was an educator at the junior high since 2008, volunteered at the Carthage Humane Society, and made a big impact on everyone she met.

“Sandi was such a kind hearted woman. She loved the kids. She loved her animals. She always had something very positive to say,” says Waynick.

When someone is loved that much, it can be hard to let them go.

So, Waynick, with some inspiration from the Joplin Human Society, wanted to find something she and the students could do to honor Giseburt’s memory.

That’s where the hearts come in.

“We’re hoping that maybe through doing this we’re kind of just honoring her and letting her memory be known in our community,” says Waynick.

Residents are being encouraged to write encouraging messages on hearts and tape them to their windows and homes.

And after just a few days, hearts can be found on the schools, on homes around town, and even on local businesses.

“It’s hard to process loss, especially when your not here at school and your normal is no longer the normal. And so I think those will kind of health them hopefully kind of give our students some encouragement,” says Fields.

Honoring the memory of a woman who always spread joy, by doing the very same.

“I just pictured her face just now of, “Oh you guys.” She would have just thought it was the neatest thing,” says Waynick.

Giseburt was 70-years-old, and passed away in her home in Carthage.