memorial for principal Kathleen Hwang outside Sanders Corner Elementary School on Monday
ASHBURN, Va. (WUSA) - Students and teachers at Sanders Corner Elementary in Ashburn returned to school Monday for the first time since the loss of their principal.
Kathleen Hwang was killed last Wednesday in a traffic accident near her home in Sterling.
Principal Kathleen Hwang was more than just a boss to Assistant Principal Beth Cipriano.
"She helped mold me into the leaders that I am today. She encouraged me to seek my degree and she mentored me the whole way," said Cipriano.
The two worked together for the last seven years.
But now Beth's in charge of her mentor's memorial, which is growing by the minute outside Sanders Corner Elementary.
George Milar's 9-year-old son is one of the dozens of students who have left letters here for their Principal:
"Dear Mrs. Hwang...you were the best Principal I could have ever imagined."
So how do you explain to such young kids why the best principal would be taken from them?
"It's difficult....Tell them to be thankful for the time that we had her here with us....God had other plans for her and I'm sure she will be helping and educating people wherever she goes," Milar said.
Last Wednesday, the principal had been trying to cross Whitewater Drive, but Sheriff's Deputies say she couldn't see the SUV that was coming around this corner. She was hit. She died almost instantly. But the 18-year-old male driver who hit her has not been charged with any crime.
"She leaves a lasting legacy of professionalism of caring of kindness. There will be a big void in our lives, but we know that Kathy would want us to carry on," said Carol Winters, Interim Principal and friend of Hwang.
Principal Hwang is survived by her husband, daughter, and grandchildren.
A visitation will be held Tuesday from 5-8 p.m. at the Adams- Green Funeral Home in Herndon.