COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Northside High School teachers and students are speaking out for the first time since the death of one of their all-star seniors.
The Northside Chorus teacher says the choir will be performing at Natalie Pegram's celebration of life ceremony next week, Oct. 29, on what would have been her 18th birthday.
Natalie Pegram was killed in a one-car accident on Saturday in Tennessee. Fayetteville Police say the suspect of the driver fell asleep behind the wheel.
Rhonda Turner, the chorus teacher at Northside high, says Pegram was in her class since freshman year.
Turner first saw the news on Facebook and she was in disbelief until quickly she heard the news from Pegram's mother.
"A couple of students have asked to go see the counselors privately," says Turner.
It has been tough for students to realize no one is promised tomorrow. Turner says she had to teach a tough lesson this week on life instead of music, but she thinks her students learned a lot.
"They learned that you can't afford to fight with each other about things that don't matter and to tell the people you love, that you love them while you can."
Once a week Turner has her students do something called "fill the bucket" where students write down one nice thing someone did for them in class. This week in honor of Natalie, she says her students wrote letters to their late classmates.
"Dear Natalie, your lovely spirit will always be at Northside. I'm not just glad to know you, it was truly an honor to know you. I know heaven is beautiful just like you."
Pegram was President of the Japanese club, sang in choir and was considered a friend to many.