Colonial Elementary School mourns the loss of beloved special education teacher

Noelle Shelton died unexpectedly this month and now, her loved ones are celebrating her life

TROUTVILLE, Va. – People at a Troutville elementary school are mourning a devastating loss of one of their own.

One of their teachers, Noelle Shelton, died unexpectedly this month, and those close to her are honoring her memory.

Shelton was a special education teacher at Colonial Elementary School, and she was very passionate about the students.

“She was a fiercely strong-minded advocate for kids that had needs that were different or more than others,” Tammy Riggs, the Colonial Elementary School Principal said.

Her impact went beyond the students. She inspired other teachers with her dedication to those she taught.

“She was the best friend you could ask for. She was more like a mentor and best friend wrapped into one. I could go to her for anything and she would always have an answer,” Kendra Ward, Shelton’s best friend and co-worker said.

Shelton always had a love for children, and for years, she dreamed of being a mom herself. When she died, she was eight months pregnant. We’re told that she already had a name picked out for her baby – Ella Elizabeth.

The loss devastated her family, friends, students, and coworkers.

Now they’re celebrating her life with a ceremony on Saturday.

“Tough times make you stronger and that is certainly no different for our staff and they’ve come together in a really sweet way,” Riggs said.

The school also has a memorial award in her name and will dedicate a garden to her.

While the grief is heavy, her loved ones find comfort in knowing her memory lives on.

About the Authors

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.

Alyssa Rae grew up in Roanoke and graduated from Virginia Tech. An avid sports fan, she spent her first 8 years in TV as a sports anchor and reporter.

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