With the tragic news of the Covenant School shooting by a 28-year-old woman, who identifies as transgender, her name has been all over the news.
But it’s the names of the six victims that we should remember and honor. And I believe they are with Jesus in heaven today:
Katherine Koonce, 60
Mike Hill, 61
Hallie Scruggs, 9
William Kinney, 9
Evelyn Dieckhaus, 9
Cynthia Peak, 61
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Katherine Koonce, 60, worked as the headmistress at The Covenant School. One of the parents at the private Christian school described her as a “saint” and said she dedicated her life to educating youth. Koonce said her mission is “helping children become who God intends them to be.”
She is the author of a book published by Penguin Random House titled, “Parenting the Way God Parents: Refusing to Recycle Your Parents’ Mistakes.”
Christian singer-songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman had this to say about Koonce: “Knowing Katherine as a gifted teacher at the school my children attend, it’s evident that she has a great deal of wisdom and insight.”
Mike Hill, 61, was a custodian at the Covenant School, affectionately known as “Big Mike” to the students at the private Christian school that goes up to 6th grade.
Hill is the father of eight children and his family said “he took great pleasure and found tremendous joy in his job and through those students.”
His daughter, Brittany, posted the following tribute on Facebook:
A GoFundMe set up for Mike’s family said, “Mike, thank you for protecting Nashville’s children.” Over $250,000 has been raised at the time of publishing.
Hallie Scruggs, 9, was the daughter of Chad Scruggs, lead pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church that runs the Christian school. Hallie was the youngest of four children.
“We are heartbroken,” Scruggs said. “Through tears we trust that she is in the arms of Jesus who will raise her to life once again.”
“Hallie, was her own person,” friends of the Scruggs family wrote in a GoFundMe. “She equally loved unicorns and ninjas. She loved playing soccer and basketball. Her adventurous, spunky spirit was adored by all who knew her. She was the spirited little sister with a bunch of big brothers, and she knew how to hold her own. She loved her entire family, and they all loved her. Above all, she loved Jesus, and we know He is holding her now.”
Over $50,000 has been raised at the time of publishing.
William Kinney was a 9-year-old student at The Covenant School.
“Will had an unflappable spirit,” a GoFundMe said, according to the New York Post. “He was unfailingly kind, gentle when the situation called for it, quick to laugh, and always inclusive of others. He loved his sisters, adored his parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and was always excited to host friends of every age.”
Evelyn Dieckhaus was a 9-year-old student at the Christian school.
Her family released the following statement:
Our hearts are completely broken. We cannot believe this has happened. Evelyn was a shining light in this world. We appreciate all the love and support but ask for space as we grieve.
Cynthia “Cindy” Peak
Cynthia “Cindy” Peak, 61, was a substitute teacher at Covenant, and referred to as “Aunt Cindy” by many.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) said Peak was best friends with his wife, First Lady Maria, and was “supposed to come over to have dinner with Maria last night after she filled in as a substitute teacher yesterday at Covenant.”
Peak graduated from high school in Shreveport, Louisiana, where residents said she never met a stranger.
“When I think about Cindy, I think about a sweet smile that she had,” Peggy Murphy, a friend of Peak, told KSLA. “I think about how her spirit, her spirit was just so sweet and it was so kind. And I think certainly that resonated with the fact that she’s such a strong believer, she has a strong Christian faith which is a testament to her love of teaching.”
WATCH GOV. BILL LEE’S ADDRESS BELOW: