Sandy Bradley, the graduation coach at Dade County High School, died today after a short fight with cancer.
Bradley had worked in the school system for more than 20 years, Dade County High School Principal Josh Ingle said. Among her roles, she was an elementary school teacher, a county-wide math coach and finally a graduation coach at the high school, working with at-risk students to ensure they completed their senior years.
On Thursday, Bradley posted on Facebook that she believed her death was imminent. She said she was peace.
"I have no regrets," she wrote. "I feel like I lived my life to the fullest. I didn't just talk about doing things or going places — I did it."
The school district will unveil a scholarship in Bradley's honor during class night for the high school seniors Thursday, Superintendent Jan Harris said.
The family will host visitors Friday from 4-8 p.m. at the Chattanooga Funeral Home, located at 7414 Old Lee Highway. Her memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at Ooltewah United Methodist Church, and she will be interned Tuesday at the Chattanooga National Cemetery.
In her role as graduation coach, Ingle said, Bradley gave extra attention to students who looked like they were going to fall between the cracks. She exchanged emails with them until 9 p.m. on weeknights as they worked through their online classes. She also visited them at home.
When she learned some students worked late at night to support their families, Bradley called their bosses, asking for them to assign to the teenagers earlier work hours so they could get more sleep.
Ingle said Bradley's bout with cancer was brief and fast. In March, she complained about sharp pains and a continual fever. By the end of the month, a doctor had diagnosed her, and she didn't return to school.
"I've refused to accept it because it was hard for me to imagine her bring sick, because of her energy and her passion," Ingle said. "When that post came out last week on Facebook, it was a punch in the gut. That's when I knew it was real."