Former students grieve over loss of Lake Travis teacher

Students are remembering Lake Travis High School teacher Ginger Johnson. She died Thursday in a head-on crash on Highway 71.

Scott Cahill did not believe what he was reading, when he got the news. His former chemistry teacher passed away.

“I have friends who took that class with me last year who were juniors, they texted me and I didn't think they were serious at first,” he said.

“I kind of didn't process it at all at first,” Meg Cahill, his sister, said.

The Cahill siblings all had Ginger Johnson. The chemistry teacher died Thursday in a crash on her way to school. She had been at Lake Travis High since 1991. The Cahills are attending the University of Texas and pursuing careers in Austin, all success they credit to the beloved teacher.

“She wrote all my rec letters and she was just such a positive person,” Claire Cahill, former student, said.

“We wouldn't have the opportunities we have now without the kind of educator she was,” Meg said.

The former Johnson pupils reflect on the fun memories they shared in her classroom.

“She would be like ‘I'm cracking the whip’ she just had this voice that you could never forget,” Meg said.

“I remember seeing her walking down the hall one day and she just came up to me and in her little sing song voice, ‘You're going to take A.P. Chemistry next year’? I was like year Mrs. Johnson of course,” Scott said.

Back at the high school, current students are grieving and crisis counselors are on hand.

“We walked in this morning and her handwriting was still on the board. We have to have the conversation, do we erase this or leave it”? Kimberly Brents, Lake Travis High School principal, said.

Brents remembers Johnson as a teacher who had a passion for kids.

“I think that's going to be the hardest thing for all of us is just being able to imagine this place without her,” Brents said.

She was a teacher who touched many lives. The school, the community and the family all exude a spirit of togetherness in the wake of a tragedy.

“She just had such a huge impact in my life. I appreciate her,” Scott said.

She leaves behind a husband and two daughters. On Sunday the school is holding a memorial at their performing arts center. The service will begin at 2:00 p.m. Everyone is invited.

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