At just 28 years old, Heather Hall had made an amazing impact on the students at Brandon High School. She had been chosen by her peers to be the school's teacher of the year, last year.
Students fought to get into her math classes.
"She was just one of those teachers that you know from the moment you meet her, her heart is in the right place," explained Assistant Principal Dina Langston.
Langston hired Hall five years ago, right after she graduated from USF.
"Heather had done an internship with us and we knew then that she was amazing. So we went ahead and hired her as soon as we could that summer," Langston said.
That hire paid off, as Hall became an ever-more popular teacher. So the news of her death has hit hard with students and staff. Back in 1999, Hall was diagnosed with melanoma. Two years ago, doctors found masses in her abdomen. Last year, the cancer had spread to her brain.
Assistant principal Langston said most students were hopeful she'd fight it like she had in the past.
"A lot of kids were still hoping that she was coming back in January. I think that's when you walk through the cafeteria, you'll hear, she beat it before. I really thought she was coming back in January,' " Langston said.
Devin Lowery, a senior cheerleader at Brandon High, said she never say Hall in a down mood.
"She didn't want us to worry about her. That was the biggest thing," Lowery said.
Devin considered her like a second mom.
"When we found out about the cancer, my sophomore year, we had a huge incentive, that's what we worked for. That made us work," she said.
On Friday, students drew diamonds on their wrists. And they wore purple, two of Heather's favorite things.
The last time Devin talked to Heather was by text. Heather told her she was so proud of her, and then texted her a kiss.
"I'm never deleting it. Some people might thing that's weird, but I'm never deleting it," she said.
Hall made a lasting impact to everyone she met.
"She's going to be with us forever"
Halls' memorial service will be Saturday morning at Plant City First Baptist Church.
Heather's husband Jarrett is a Hillsborough County sheriff's deputy.
The school and the sheriff's office is hosting a 5k memorial run. The "Heroes for Heather" Memorial Run is December 1st.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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