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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)– A New Hanover County school is mourning the loss of a longtime teacher. Linda Aiello, 62, died in a car accident last night.

Not far from Laney High School, debris litters the shoulder of North College Road, the only sign that a deadly car accident ever happened here. Killed in the wreck was a woman who was a mother, a grandmother and longtime school teacher.

“One of the very best ones that I know of in this school,” Wrighstsboro Elementary parent Matthew Woods said of Aiello. “I mean, she’s just… What can you say? It’s just, it’s a loss. It’s a loss to all the children, not only mine, but the ones that come after mine.”

Aiello spent 22 years teaching at Wrightsboro Elementary School. During her tenure she taught third, fourth and fight grade. Affectionately known as “Ms. A,” she had spent the last two years teaching third graders, students who may now need a little support.

“I was so upset, but I didn’t want to cry, because I didn’t want other people to see me crying, because other people didn’t know,” said Charlotte Woods, a former student of Aiello.

Many staff members did not know what happened until they got to work. That’s when they learned about the crash.

The accident happened just a few hundred feet from Northchase Parkway. The Highway Patrol says another driver crossed the center line and hit Aiello. The other driver, Michael Gillespie, was not seriously injured. But moments after that crash another driver came along and hit Aiello’s car. She later died at the hospital.

“Certainly this community is reeling with shock and grief right now,” New Hanover County Schools Assistant Superintendent Rick Holliday said.

That’s why counselors were at Wrightsboro Elementary Tuesday and will remain there as long as they are needed.

“She gave us candy when we did well. She told us funny stories about what happened in her life. She read us funny books,” Charlotte Woods said. “She was the best teacher you could ask for.”

According to Highway Patrol, Gillespie has been charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle. Troopers say they do not believe alcohol or drugs were involved.


Comment on this Story

  • zrectnat @ YOUTUBE

    even though i only knew her from being bounced lol she still was nice about it and gave me work with a smile and continued teaching even then i could tell how good a teacher she was she told me one time how she had lunch with the author of a book i didnt want to read it till she told me that … that was in fall 2007 ibelieve 5th grade you will be dearly missed r.i.p a true cool cat and awsome pawsome staff member

  • Tiffani

    Mrs. A was the best teacher anyone could ask for. She was kind, giving and inspired everyone to dream as big as they could. She taught me in fifth grade almost a decade ago, but she still holds a special place in my heart. I love you Mrs. A!

  • A. Johnson

    That was one of the most amazing things about her. She taught me in 1993-1994, fifth grade, and to this day when I run into her, she remembered everything about me!
    Even my cousins who were never in her class. She was just a beautiful being and we’re so lucky for knowing her

  • A. Johnson

    Reading everyone’s comments only makes it all the more obvious how genuine a woman Mrs. Aiello really was. I have been saying all the same things about her for years. Unfortunately, I have run across some of the worst teachers you can imagine. Even the good ones never compared to Mrs. Aiello. I remember that year I found out I was gonna be in her class, I couldn’t wait for school to start because EVERYBODY wanted to get in that class. I remember all the stuff that went on in that class. She reminded me of “Mrs. Frizzle” from the “Magic School Bus”, because everything we did with her was fun, no matter what it was! I know everybody remembers the applesauce, and the Monkeybread, lol. My 2 cousins were in the same grade as me, and they were sooooo jealous (they were in different classes). I remember when that school year was over, we were being prepared for the transition into middle school, and how scared I was. Over the summer, I received a card in the mail from Mrs. A! She told how much I meant to her, and how special a kid I was to her. She was writing to let me know that if I was great a kid as I was in her class, there was no reason to be nervous, they would enjoy me just the same. I never had a teacher encourage me like that, and I never forgot it. I am 28 now, and my daughter was even lucky enough to get to know this very same teacher years later. I remember how excited she was when she saw me at the school with my own child, all grown up. My daughter still talks about her, and she attends a different school now. It is extremely evident how many lives she touched, and I already missed her, and now I will miss her even more. Rest In Peace

  • Marinda Jackson Newman

    My two Brothers and I had the privilege of being taught by Mrs. Aiello Nearly 15 years ago. Not only did Mrs. Aiello touch us mentally in the classroom, she touched us on an emotional level. She called me her S+ girl. My most fond memory of her was when she did an apple unit in her classroom. We made home made applesauce… She will be greatly missed. Anyone From the class of 2005 planning to attend her Funeral let me know. Crazeddancer16@yahoo.com

  • Beylla

    Wow i can’t believe that this has happend to the Best Of the Bestest teachers in the WORlD. I hate that this has happend.
    she taught me in the 5th grade. We had the best times,never any bad times thats why the other students were so jelous.But i realy loved her as my friend and teacher. I wish her family the best and know that now she is in a better place.
    R.I.P. Mrs.A.
    you will always be the best teacher!

  • anne

    I am not from the area and have not had children in your school system, but it sounds like this teacher was well loved by her peers, her students and their parents. What a legacy she has left behind. Prayers for her family and friends.

  • Someone

    She was my teacher when I was in the fifth grade. I’m thirteen now, and this is horrible news. She always told me that I always outdid myself…RIP Ms.A

  • Robert E. Godwin

    Not every one is lucky enough in their life to have a teacher that even 20 years after they taught you if they saw you around town they would call out your name but Mrs. Aiello did that every time i saw her, and it always took me back to her fourth grade class room. She was my favorite teacher and my brother and i were both lucky to have her. She helped my mom, Brooke Godwin when we were young, she gave us clothes and food, she was a wonderful person. We love her so much and I am very sad that the world lost her, to imagine how many students she taught over her many years and she never forgot my name…

  • Guest19

    Mrs. Aiello was by far my favorite teacher. I had the pleasure of being her student when I was in the 5th grade. She had such an impact on my life and she inspired me to want to become a teacher myself.

    I’ll never forget her hats, her collection of angels, and the amazing warmth and love she shared with her students. She will be greatly missed.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to her family, friends, co-workers, and her students.

  • Jennie McGoun

    You have touched the lives of so many including my own. Thank you for all you have done through your teaching for our community. You are truly an admirable woman who will never be forgotten. God bless.

  • Jason Solomon

    Ms. Aiello was one of my elementary teachers back in 1990. She definitely cared for each child’s individual needs. She used to bring me peanut butter crackers every morning. Getting Ms. Aiello for a teacher at Wrightsboro Elementary was like winning 1st round draft pick for teachers for the Elementary Draft (if it existed). She was caring, compassionate, fun, and a great create educator. She will be greatly missed.

  • Shella

    Mrs. Aiello was my son’s 5th grade teacher and my daughter’s 3rd grade teacher. She will be missed very much. I always loved to see her smiling face. She was a wonderful woman, teacher and friend. My prayers go out to her family. I know this must be a very hard time for them. I know that both of my kids have taken this very hard. They loved having her as their teacher.

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