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(NECN: Kathryn Sotnik, Stow, Mass.) - Stow, Mass., the town where 24-year-old Colleen Ritzer had her first teaching job as a math instructor at the Hale Middle School, is showing their support after her death.
Hugs were exchanged, along with words of support. A special tribute of candles also flickered under the cold night sky.
"She was such a beautiful young lady, all the pictures I keep seeing of her, that's exactly Colleen, that's what she looked like," said teacher Sheila Flaherty.
Most recently, Colleen was teaching at Danvers High School, the same place where her body was found in the woods in back of the school.
A 14-year-old is now charged with her murder.
An emotional Marcus Braudis says he had Colleen as a teacher at Hale.
"I’d love going into her class every day," Braudis said.
Those who knew Colleen say she prided herself on relating to her students, even posted motivational messages and homework assignments online.
She was also known as the teacher who helped make everyone feel like they fit in.
"A group of them used to stay and talk with her because she was such a nice person," Marcia Mishley, a parent, said.