DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) – A Decatur teacher and coach was hurt in a car accident last week. Her school and community are now coming together to help her heal.
“They realize there’s something serious happening but there is a hopefulness among the students for sure,” Fr. Michael Trummer, chaplain at St. Teresa High School said.
Amber Johnson’s friends, family and co-workers gathered to pray for her recovery Friday. Colleagues all say the same thing about Johnson – that teaching is more than a job to her. She’s loved by her students and community, and they just want to see her recover.
“I know that everyone’s praying, but it’s just a chance for us to come pray together as a community and we believe as Christians that there’s power when we come together in our prayers,” Fr. Trummer said.
Johnson is a theology teacher and track coach. She was leaving a track meet last Friday night when her car was struck. Since then, she’s been in the hospital with severe injuries.
“Monday was a somber atmosphere. The students definitely all came together. We in theology classes all said the prayer that Fr. Trummer had sent out to us,” campus minister and fellow theology teacher Mandy Hoffman said.
Assistant Principal Jennifer Brummer said one prayer that was posted to their school’s Facebook page reached over 45,000 people. That’s just one of the many ways people are supporting Johnson and her family through this difficult time.
“We all could only wish that we would have the outpouring of support that she has but she has earned that in the kind of person that she is,” Brummer said.
They say she’s strong, selfless, and someone they all look up to.
“She’s a role model for all of us. I’m 20 years older than she is but I learn from her every day just like her students learn from her every day,” Brummer said.
“To me, that is a huge testament to not only Amber but to our community. She is receiving the love that she has given to everyone,” Bummer said.
She said she’s certain Johnson knows how much they all care about her, and it’s easy to see the love she has for them too.
“You can just really tell – she really pours her heart into it. It’s not just a job; it’s not just about making money. It’s about making an impact on people,” Fr. Trummer said.
Colleagues say they’re selling Amber’s Army t-shirts in orange and blue – the schools colors. They’ve already hit almost 900 orders.
According to the Amber’s Army Facebook page, a benefit account has been set up at Prairie State Bank and Trust. The post reads: “Amber’s family and friends cannot even begin to express their amount of gratitude to each and every one of you for the unceasing prayers, donations and the amount of support provided. This community of Amber’s Army is absolutely amazing.”