Family, friends remember Dunbar Elementary principal Jacara Sproaps | St. Louis Public Radio

Family, friends remember Dunbar Elementary principal Jacara Sproaps

Jul 20, 2016

Yellow and green balloons floated above a crowd gathered outside Dunbar Elementary School Wednesday as family, friends and colleagues clutched candles, held hands and remembered Jacara Sproaps.

"She loved her school," said Janice Sproaps, mother of the 38-year-old Dunbar principal who was killed last week, along with her boyfriend, Maurice Partlow, outside her home in the Gravois Park neighborhood of St. Louis. "She just wanted the best for all of you."

Community leaders stood alongside Sproaps' parents on the steps of the school at 1415 N. Garrison Ave., and called for an end to gun violence. Pastors, who organized the vigil, led the group in prayer before directing attendees into the street to release the balloons, chosen to reflect Dunbar's school colors.

Teachers in attendance, including LaKesia Richmond-Brooks, remembered Sproaps' guidance and dedication.

A Dunbar teacher who started out as a teaching assistant, Richmond-Brooks said Sproaps was instrumental in helping her receive her certification.

"Teacher Appreciation Day was always Teacher Appreciation Week," Richmond-Brooks said. "From Monday to Friday, she celebrated us."

"We adored Ms. Sproaps," she added. "I adored Ms. Sproaps."

A funeral will be held Tuesday at Believers Temple World Fellowship. A GoFundMe account has been set up to raise money for Sproaps' 18-year-old son, Jairis, who was injured in the shooting.

    

Micai Benford, a cousin of Jacara Sproaps, listens as Sproaps is remembered.
Credit Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio
Pastor Michael Tyler, of Greater Paradise Missionary Baptist Church, leads a prayer.
Credit Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Attendees hug Jacara Sproaps' mother, Janice Sproaps.
Credit Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

  

Attendees pray for the Sproaps family outside Dunbar Elementary.
Credit Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio
Nine-year-old Norman Thomas, who attended Dunbar, holds a candle at the vigil.
Credit Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio
Dunbar teacher LaKesia Richmond-Brooks speaks about Jacara Sproaps' influence.
Credit Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio
Family, friends and colleagues remember Jacara Sproaps outside Dunbar Elementary.
Jacara Sproaps' mother, Janice Sproaps, receives a hug.
Credit Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

    

The crowd releases balloons that reflect Dunbar's school colors.
Credit Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio