St. Teresa's Academy mourns loss of former student

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Students at St. Teresa's Academy are dealing with the sudden death of former classmate. Rebecca Lueke, 18, died after her car slid off the icy road and into the path of a semi-truck on 1-435 Monday morning.

It's hard to summarize the life of a young woman who had a family of nearly 600.

"Not one thing, but everything stands out," Nan Bone said, president at St. Teresa's Academy, who said Lueke's family, including their seven children, has been a big part of the school. 

Just a day after students at the school heard the news, the flowers and messages of love continue to pile up in a small memorial set up for Lueke on top of the school's seal.

The seal includes a message in Latin that reads "With God, fear nothing."

A candle burns with a picture of a smiling 18-year-old who everyone considered a sibling or a daughter.

"We're like a small town, think about it that way," Bone said, "There are 600 girls and we call ourselves a sisterhood."

It's hard to miss Rebecca Lueke in her senior year book.  She was the captain of the varsity basketball team, a member of the cross country and the track team.

Many of her classmates tweeted messages of condolences to her family, saying she will be missed.

"I would just say character is such a good way to describe her, she has just such a strong character," Bone said.

Some would say she was a superstar.

"A coach's dream," Mark Hough said, the athletics director at the school. "Somebody that keeps everybody in good spirits, somebody that keeps everybody working hard."

She led her basketball team to win the Class 5 district championships. It was the first time in 15 years since the team had won.

There are many moments that everyone at her former school will remember her by. 

"(It's) just sad and why, the questions of why," Hough said.

Letting go will be hard.

"Especially teenage girls, this is so hard for them, I mean, their emotions are raw and we've just spent a lot of time with them, letting them cry and letting them share their memories of her," Bone said.

However, her legacy at the school will certainly live on.

Hough said that the varsity basketball team will consider finding a way to commemorate Lueke.   They'd like to first receive input from her family, especially her sister, a sophomore at the school who is now on the team.

Lueke was currently a freshman at Benedictine College.

Staff there said they have provided counseling services for students who knew Lueke and have held several prayer services on campus in her honor.

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