‘It doesn’t make any sense what this virus does’: Clarksville-Montgomery school teacher dies of COVID-19

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CLARKSVILLE, Tenn (WKRN) — Just days ago, Jennifer Ferebee lost her 54-year-old husband, James, to COVID-19.

At the end of August Jennifer says she and James went out on their boat for a fun weekend and both started feeling sick the next day.

“It got worse and it got worse and the fevers came and you didn’t want to get up, didn’t want to move,” Jennifer said. “Everything just kind of fell apart.”

Eventually, they both tested positive for COVID-19 and went to the hospital for treatment. Jennifer came home, but James did not.

After spending two weeks on a ventilator, James died on Saturday, leaving behind his wife, four kids, and hundreds of students at Kenwood Middle School. Jennifer says he spent more than a decade teaching social studies there and had taken on a new role this year as a social-emotional coordinator to help troubled students.

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The Clarksville-Montgomery County School system confirmed Ferebee’s death and sent News 2 a statement that Kenwood Principal Jeremiah Davis sent out to staff, students and families Sunday night:

“We share the following information with a very heavy heart. Mr. Jim Ferebee, our highly-loved teacher and Social and Emotional Learning Coach, who has been with us for over 12 years, passed away over the weekend. Please direct your prayers and thoughts to his family. His wife Mrs. Jennifer Ferebee and their children really need our support right now. We will have places in the main office and cafeteria for students to place cards, letters and pictures. We will also have additional counselors at school to help us through this challenging time.

Kenwood Principal Jeremiah Davis

“I get at least 15 messages a day from soldiers and kids and students,” Jennifer said. “Parents are sending me videos of my husband giving kids awards and doing things that I’d never even seen before.”

Jennifer says prior to becoming a teacher, James spent 20 years in the infantry as an airborne ranger and loved his country as much as his family, students and soldiers.

“This disease is horrifying,” Jennifer said. “It doesn’t make any sense what this virus does.”

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