NATICK, Mass. — A beloved Natick elementary school aide is still giving back despite passing away from cancer several years ago.
"There was no one like Katie, everybody will tell you that, she was always everybody's favorite."
Her one-of-a-kind spirit lives on as Katie Von Der Lieth's smiling face greets students every day inside Johnson Elementary School in Natick.
"She loved the kids. It was always all about the kids, about making every kid feel special and like they were the only one in the room and she just had a real gift for that, making every kid just feel amazing every day," said second-grade teacher Laney George.
Mrs. V, as she was known, worked as a student aide for more than a dozen years. Sadly, she passed away from uterine cancer in 2014.
A scholarship was established in her name and is awarded each year to a graduating Natick High School senior who attended Johnson Elementary School.
"It's amazing 10, 12 years later these kids still have strong memories of her and that she had such an impact on their lives," said George.
Mrs. V was an avid runner. A 5k is run in her memory and proceeds from this Sunday's race will go to a Natick charity "Embrace a Family."
"Which actually helps people with cancer and supports the families that are going through that as she did and her family," said Judy Goss, paraprofessional.
When Katie V wasn't with her family, husband Tom and children James and Lilly, she would often be seen biking around Natick. A red bike stands outside of school in tribute to Mrs. V as "the legend rides on."
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