Tri-City United High School received sad news that longtime teacher Carol Lilla died Friday morning at New Prague Hospital.
Lilla, who taught math and computer science, came to school Friday morning but experienced a sudden medical emergency She was transported to the hospital after medical professionals were contacted, and the district later received word that she did not survive.
Superintendent Teri Preisler said she and the administration communicated the news to high school staff face-to-face and sent and email districtwide to parents of all students from — Early Childhood to 12th grade — as well as staff in other TCU buildings.
The district and Le Sueur County made sure there were grief counselors, social workers and psychologists on site to support both students and staff in the wake of Lilla’s death. That counseling continues after the weekend.
Lilla began her 40th year teaching within the TCU school district this month. Her teaching career began 46 years ago at Most Holy Redeemer Catholic School in Montgomery, where she taught both math and physical education. She began teaching math for the former Montgomery-Lonsdale High School in 1981.
Apart from teaching, Lilla also had an extensive coaching history. Her most recently coached girls’ softball for TCU, but over the years she also coached volleyball and basketball. She was highly involved in student activities and school committees.
“The thing that immediately comes to mind about Carol Lilla is she truly loved being a teacher and she loved serving our students and supporting them as students but also in their activities,” said Preisler. “We would always see her at our student events, be it sports or fine arts or in any other way. She loved the school districts that she worked within and had an absolute passion for making student opportunities.
“[She was] just a really good person, Preisler said fighting back tears, “and her heart was always in the right place.”
A more detailed story will appear in next week’s edition of Lonsdale News Review.