Breaking News
More () »

Mulberry teacher dies after contracting COVID-19, husband still fighting virus

Norma Reyes worked at Purcell Elementary School for 18 years and was recognized as the 2012 Florida State Employee of the year.
Credit: GoFundMe
Norma Reyes was a teacher at Purcell Elementary for 18 years. Over the summer, she contracted COVID-19 and lost her battle with the virus.

MULBERRY, Fla. — Norma Reyes had many roles at Purcell Elementary School, from teaching students English to assisting Purcell families and helping with various school events and programs. 

However, over the summer, Norma contracted COVID-19 and lost her battle to the virus. 

In a statement to 10 Tampa Bay, Polk County Public Schools describes Norma as caring and dedicated. 

"Norma was a fixture at Purcell Elementary, the one who always organized things and brought people together for events. She made sure the students had everything they needed, whether it was bookbags, clothing, or other items. She also assisted the school with translation and everyday tasks that might include picking up snacks or cleaning up at the end of the day. Norma always went above and beyond. She was highly regarded and is dearly missed by the Purcell community, as well as Polk County Public Schools." 

In 2012, Norma was selected as Florida's School-Related Employee of the Year. The program recognizes outstanding education support personnel for the significant contributions they make to their schools and district school systems. 

Norma leaves behind her husband, Elio Reyes, who also has COVID-19 and is currently intubated in the hospital. They have two children, EJ Reyes and Bryana Reyes.  

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the Reyes family during this time. 

"Norma was without saying the most caring, loving woman you could ever meet. We ask for whoever would like to contribute to making her funeral the most memorable for her family and to honor the woman who would do anything for anyone," Janellys Michelle, the GoFundMe organizer, said.