The El Reno School District is stunned and sad after the death of a school staple. Those who knew Cynthia Bennett said she was more than just someone kids passed in the halls.
"She just lived for her kids," said Judy Lippoldt, encumbrance clerk for El Reno Public Schools. "Whether it was here or in the community."
Those in the community got the news Monday morning.
"She said Cynthia Bennett passed away, and I was frozen in my tracks," said Hailey McBroom, a senior high school student. "I just stood there probably three or four minutes."
McBroom had Ms. Bennett was a librarian since she was in pre-K and now worked alongside her as an aide. She said her first day without Bennett was difficult.
"It was different. Normally there's Disney music playing in the library when you come in," said McBroom.
The 60-year-old Bennett was in her 38th year working for the district. She was a teacher for several elementary schools until she found herself as a librarian, most recently at Rose Witcher Elementary.
"More than just a librarian, she was my friend, and we miss her and I'll miss that friendship," said Craig McVay, El Reno Schools superintendent.
Not only did Bennett teach thousands of students over the years, but she also taught swimming.
"Running the local swimming pool, and then doing her own private swimming lessons. Kids from even just the community that maybe weren't students in our school system knew and loved Ms. Bennett," said Julie Huber, the district's associate superintendent.
The district also said Bennett was involved throughout the community and always fought for teachers and was a great advocate for the schools.