Perquimans Co. teacher passes away unexpectedly during fire drill

PERQUIMANS Co., N.C. - A local elementary school is mourning the loss of one of its teachers.

Kim Hunter Daugherty

James R. Bunch, Assistant Superintendent of Perquimans County Schools, told News 3 Kim Hunter Daugherty died unexpectedly during a fire drill Thursday. Hunter was a teacher at Hertford Grammar School.

Bunch said Daugherty, 45, had a medical emergency during the drill, and the school's nurse and local EMTs responded immediately to the situation.

Supertintendent Matthew Cheeseman said Daugherty was escorting her students back into class after the drill when she started to feel lightheaded. A staff member helped her sit down, and at that time Daugherty collapsed. A school nurse administered CPR while EMS was called.

The school was placed on modified lockdown as a precaution, Cheeseman said.

Daugherty was then taken to Chowan Hospital in Edenton, North Carolina. Hospital staff later notified school officials that Daugherty had died from a heart complication.

Daugherty taught at Perquimans County Middle School from 1997-2005 before moving to the Dare County School District for a year. She then transferred to the Pitt County School District for a year, moving back to the Perquimans County School District in 2008.

Daugherty, the daughter of MLB player Jimmy "Catfish" Hunter, had been a 5th grade teacher at Hertford Grammar since 2012.

Hertford Grammar School Principal John Lassiter shared a heartfelt message on Facebook after Daugherty's passing.

Cheeseman described Daugherty as a "rock of the community" and said she will be dearly missed. He also said she had a legacy with their school system.

Friends and fellow teachers told News 3 Daugherty loved her kids and she loved other teachers. They said she always left a place better than she found it.

The family plans to hold a private burial on Sunday. Visitation services will be held at Hertford Baptist Church from 3-5 p.m. Sunday.

School was closed Friday but will reopen Monday.

Counselors will be available for students, employees and those in the community between those hours.

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