Counselors are being made available to students and staff at Salem High School as funeral arrangments are being finalized for a long-time teacher.

Salem Local Schools Superintendent Sean Kirkland announced in a message posted Monday on the system's website on Monday that Jody McCracken had passed away at the age of 43.

Funeral arrangements for McCracken, who began her career as an English teacher in the Salem Schools in 1999, are being finalized by Stark Memorial Funeral Home in Salem.

Superintendent Kirkland described McCracken as caring and selfless, saying she touched the lives of many students, family, and friends.

“When tragedy happens to good people, we begin to question why. None of us have the answer to that question, so in order to cope with our loss, we have to trust in our faith and in the fond memories of Mrs. McCracken. Her wish is to have a celebration of her life. So as we grieve, let’s remember the joy and assistance that Mrs. McCracken provided to so many students and staff alike. Let’s celebrate the life of Mrs. McCracken and remember her smile, positive attitude, and giving spirit. We also have to work together, as she would want us to, and find understanding and compassion within our souls to help each other through this terrible situation.”