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Principal Suzette York Found Dead at School
By Marvin Lowman, Communication Director, Kentucky-Tennessee Conference

Suzette YorkSuzette York, principal of the Memphis Junior Academy was found dead in a classroom the school located in Memphis, TN. The 49-year old principal was allegedly killed by one of the students.

The Memphis Junior Academy operated by the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

Steve Haley, conference president says, “This is a very sad day for all of us in this community, and particularly for the Seventh-day Adventist family. We are shocked and saddened over the tragedy that has befallen Suzette York. She was not only an administrator, but also a colleague, a friend and a fellow believer. Our prayers are lifted on behalf of her husband as well as the staff and students at Memphis Junior Academy. We are also praying for all those impacted by this tragedy.”

Suzette York came to Memphis Junior Academy as a teacher in 1996 and had been principal for the past three years. Prior to joining the Kentucky-Tennessee staff she taught for nine years in the British Columbia and Maritime Conferences in Canada.

Counseling is being arranged for the students and staff. When it is appropriate we expect to resume classes at Memphis Junior Academy.

Seventh-day Adventists have a long tradition of providing safe schools that offer quality education. This tragedy strengthens our resolve to be ever vigilant to protect our teachers and students from harm.

Our faith in God and in our mission remains; to it we now add a commitment to honor Suzette York's service and sacrifice.

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Statements from  Southern Union Leaders

Gordon Retzer Photo"Our hearts are saddened by the news of Suzette York's death. The Southern Union family joins in prayer for husband and relatives, along with each staff member and student at Memphis Junior Academy. The focus of our education system is Jesus Christ. And it is what we know about Him that gives us comfort and hope in this time of grief."

- Gordon Retzer, President Southern Union Conference


Debra Fryson"The news of Suzette York's death has touched educators around the Southern Union Conference. We grieve for the pain  this unfortunate event has brought to the family of Suzette York, the teachers and students at Memphis Junior Academy, and to the family of the student at fault. For over 100 years the Southern Union has provided safe schools that offer quality education. This tragedy strengthens our resolve to be ever vigilant to protect our teachers and students from harm."

- Debra Fryson, Superintendent of Education Southern Union Conference