School creates memorial for slain teacher

BROWNSTOWN, Pa. (WHTM) – Bright, energetic, and full of life are way friends describe Nicole Mathewson, a former teacher at Brownstown Elementary School.

Now, right inside the school are two stained-glass windows, a tribute to Mathewson to make sure her memory lives on forever.

Nicole Mathewson
Nicole Mathewson

“It really is a symbol of hope and joy for all of us to share in,” Principal Andy Graybill told ABC 27 News. “They include a very symmetrical, geometric shape that indicate some order and rhythm in life. All of those things really describe Nicole.”

This week marks one year since Mathewson, a former sixth-grade teacher at the school, was killed inside her Lancaster home.

“She would sing songs with the kids,” Graybill recalled. “She would dress up.”

Graybill said it’s been a tough year for the school after losing a teacher they loved. He said the stained glass windows mean they will never forget her.

The memorials include mandala designs. Shortly after Mathewson’s death, students colored similar designs to help with their grief.

Joan Pawlikowski taught across the hall from Mathewson and said the memorial is a beautiful tribute to her friend.

“When I saw the window panes I just broke out into a big smile,” she said. “It’s her life that was most important.”

The window panes were paid for by donation and made by a local artist.

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