Jill Vaught, 34, was a Mustang native, a life-changing teacher, and a fierce friend to many. She was bitten by the teaching bug early and followed the footsteps of her mother, Carol Vaught, who is a retired teacher.
Carol Vaught said her daughter was a “shining light” and a “touchstone” to students.
“That’s how she made them feel, safe and loved.” Vaught said. “She had no children of her own, but she was the ultimate mother to those children.”
In Jill Vaught’s honor, Linwood Elementary, 3416 NW 17 St. in Oklahoma City, has announced plans to build a reading room in the school. Carol Vaught said children who were having trouble in other classrooms would be sent to Jill Vaught’s class where they would read or play with other students.
“She had the ability to calm them down,” Vaught said. “She knew every one of the kids in the school.”
Mark Myers, Media Relations Director Oklahoma City Public Schools, released a statement about Vaught last week.
“OKCPS is deeply saddened by the loss of Jill Vaught, a 2nd grade teacher at Linwood Elementary. Jill joined OKCPS in 2008 and was loved by her students. We offer our condolences to Ms. Vaught’s family and friends, as well as to her school family. OKCPS will continue to provide support services at Linwood Elementary for her students and co-workers who have lost a dear teacher and friend.”
Jill Vaught taught for OKCPS in the following capacities; 2008: Adams Elementary, 2009: N. Highlands Elementary, 2010 – 2013: Rockwood Elementary, and 2014 – Present: Linwood Elementary.
Vaught was also known to be adventurous. She was an active member in the group Red Dirt Jeeps. The organization is the most prominent Jeep group in Oklahoma. Their mission is to engages families, communities, and Jeep owners through off-roading and charity events.
The group created “JEEPS 4 JILL’S LINWOOD LIONS” and is collecting toy bears in Vaught’s honor to give to all her students at Linwood Elementary. Toy bear donations can be dropped off at Vintage Stock, 1155 Garth Brooks Blvd. or Red Dirt Decals, 208 Arlington Drive in Yukon.