Originally from Canada, Suzette York became principal of Memphis Junior Academy in 2008.
She taught science and math at the school in the 1990s but left to teach in Canada for a few years before returning to take the principal position at the academy. Former students said York was a caring, attentive teacher who always made herself available after class. Friends praised York both for her abilities in the classroom and as a principal at the school. She was dedicated to doing her job and worked diligently. There was never a soul that she wouldn’t help.
On August 10, 2011 a 17-year-old student in Tennessee brutally stabbed his high school principal to death while the two were alone in a classroom. She was trying to talk to the boy when he attacked her. The student had apparently been planning to kill his principal for several months simply because he didn’t like her.
As word spread about the attack, parents rushed to the one-story building only to see police holding a sheet to protect York’s body.