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Salem Hyde Principal remembers Valerie Crowder

Valerie Crowder had a smile that could 'light up a room'

There are no words for losing a friend.

"It's just disbelief," Patricia Floyd-Echols said. "I'm still in just complete, utterly... like what I still don't get it."

The body of Valerie Crowder was discovered just before noon Thursday.

Crowder worked for the Syracuse City School District for more than 30 years as a teaching assistant, most recently at Webster Elementary School.

Floyd-Echols is one of many people who can't understand why Valerie Crowder was taken too soon. Floyd-Echols worked with Crowder for 14 years at Dr. King Elementary School in Syracuse.

"She was very much a force at Dr. King and very much a positive influence throughout the city."

The Salem Hyde Elementary School Principal has many memories of her friend, Val. Something she'll never forget is the way Val could light up a room.

"She had the best smile and was always laughing about something," said Floyd-Echols. "I will remember that smile and I will remember all that she did for children."

While the pain of losing Val lingers, Floyd-Echols finds comfort in her faith.

"God took an angel and we hope she's around children because they were really important to her and she will be missed."

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