ERATH, La. (KLFY) — Thousands of students in Iberia and Vermilion Parishes are mourning an educator whose life was taken this past weekend. 41-year-old Kristy Hebert died in a two-vehicle crash on Highway 14 Friday evening. An alleged drunk driver has been charged in her death.

Monday, Hebert’s life will be remembered in a vigil held at Erath High School. Though she never taught at Erath High School, the senior class is comprised of some of her former 5th-grade students, one sophomore is her very own son, and the principal, Marc Turner, was her coworker at one of her first teaching jobs.

“I had the opportunity to teach with Kristy at Eaton Park Elementary. She was a dedicated teacher and took so much pride in establishing meaningful relationships with her students. As a coworker, this was inspiring to see, and I will carry that impact with me throughout my career as an educator,” Turner said.

Everywhere Kristy Hebert went, her dedication always shined through. From Eaton Park to LeBlanc Elementararies in Abbeville, to Jefferson Island Road Elementary in Iberia Parish. She would have been in the classroom Monday, but her 60 sixth-grade students assembled with grief counselors instead who will be available throughout the week.

“Ms. Hebert loved her students and they loved her. She was a passionate teacher who really loved what she did,” says Jennifer Joseph, Assistant Superintendent of Administration Iberia Parish School District.

Hebert’s caring reach extended beyond individual schools, but to the entire school district of Vermilion Parish. She served as the District H school board member since 2019, and she was the only board member currently teaching in a public school. Joseph added, “She will be missed by everyone at Jefferson Island Elementary as well as the Iberia Parish School System.”

Hebert’s caring reach extended beyond individual schools, but to the entire school district of Vermilion Parish. She served as the District H school board member since 2019, and she was the only board member currently teaching in a public school.

“My conversations with Kristy were always a little bit different because it’s a mother, a teacher,” stated Vermilion Parish Schools Superintendent Tommy Byler. “The well-being and the issues dealing with teachers and students were always something that was of major importance to Kristy, so anything that came across our desk that dealt with teachers, students, pupil progression, it was on the forefront of Kristy’s plate.”

Those who knew her always mentioned her giving spirit, whether it was homemade cookies delivered to teachers or anonymous donations to make a student’s Christmas. From her Kaplan roots to her last breath, she embodied what a greater leader looks like.

“She was the epitome of what it means to be a role model for our young people, and her legacy will live on through every student she taught over the years and every life she impacted,” Turner concluded.

Kristy Hebert was also a student herself, earning a master’s degree in educational leadership this year. She was supposed to walk in her graduation the day after she died. You can see how she was honored at the University of Louisiana at Monroe here or read a statement her father, the Mayor of Kaplan gave here.