A former Robinson woman died last week while helping her students build a float for homecoming.
Southport, Ind., High School English teacher Megan (Underwood) Woodward, 29, was decorating a float Thursday for the school's homecoming celebration Friday when she fell, sustaining a head injury that later killed her.
Before going on to career and family, she was a talented singer and actress locally. She had lead roles in Smokey Joe's Cafe and Romeo and Juliet, a Modern Version at Lincoln Trail College, and in Les Miserables, The King and I, and Aida at Robinson High School.
"She was a talented vocalist, and a gifted and powerful actress," said Barb Shimer. "I admired her talent but valued her positive, wonderful spark. Her energy was contagious. She was fun and courageous. I valued working with her and it was a pleasure to watch her grow into her career and family bring all her energy and creativity with her. Her theater family at RHS and LTC will long remember her and miss her. She left her mark."
Laura Blaydes, a friend and teacher, got to know Woodward when they worked together at North Central High School in Farmersburg, Ind. "I learned of the accident that day. Her husband called me to tell me," she said.
Blaydes said, above anything else, Woodward's husband, Wes, and two daughters, ages 7 and 21 months, were most important in her life. "She was one of the most loving mothers that I have been around. Her kids were her priority. It's sad," Blaydes said.
Woodward was a gifted English teacher, but it was her ability to reach kids beyond the classroom that made her a standout in Southport. "Megan has always been the type of person that wanted to find ways to help people out in need," Blaydes said.
Friends, family members, colleagues, students and other community members will gather at the Southport High School auditorium on Thursday, Oct. 5 to share their memories.
"Together, we will honor her legacy, share stories, and celebrate the kindness that she embodied," the Southport school district said in a press release. "Perry Township Schools expresses its deepest condolences to the family and school community that so dearly love Southport High teacher Megan Woodward. Megan was an amazing educator with a remarkable way of making everyone feel valued and important. She also had an extraordinary passion for students. The entire Perry Township Community mourns her loss and extends our sympathy to Southport High and the multitudes of people whose lives she touched."
The service will begin at 7:30 p.m. Southport High School is at 971 E. Banta Road in Indianapolis. No local services have yet been planned.