Dawson County High School senior and 2017 football homecoming queen Grace Sheer was killed Monday in a tragic car wreck just a mile from the school.
Principal Richard Crumley notified other DCHS parents and guardians of the beloved student’s death mid-morning Monday in an email, stating that his thoughts and sympathies are with Sheer’s family and friends.
"Members of our Crisis Response Team are available to meet with students individually and in groups today as well as over the coming days and weeks," Crumley wrote. "Please contact the school office if you feel your child is in need of additional assistance; we have a list of school and community mental health resources."
At the board of education meeting Monday night, board member Karen Armstrong called for a moment of silence for Sheer.
Superintendent Damon Gibbs remarked on Sheer’s death and said that as a parent, it was absolutely mind-blowing and heartbreaking.
“The Sheers received a phone call no parent would ever, ever dream of hearing and please keep that family in your thoughts and prayers as they deal with tragic loss,” he said.
DCHS counselor Cherie Ferguson said that Sheer was awesome, “very well liked and loved.”
“She always had a positive spirit,” Ferguson said. “I hope my daughter grows up to be like her.”
A star student with an above 4.0 GPA, Sheer ranked high in her class, Ferguson said. She was a three-year member of the Chamber Singers, an elite choir at DCHS, and on the varsity soccer team.
She was also a member of the Hispanic honor society and the Interact club.
Her death is especially hard for the soccer community, as the team also lost Coach Jed Lacey in the fall in a tragic car wreck.
Girls soccer coach Chess Hamby said he had coached Sheer for the past four years.
“I can't say enough great things about Grace. Her name fit her perfectly. As beautiful, athletic and talented as she was, what was on the inside is what made Grace the person that she was,” Hamby said. “She had an unbelievable ability to find the best in everyone that she came in contact with and she had a special and unique way of brightening the day of all those around her.”
Hamby said Sheer was a great leader to the younger players, and taught them how to train and prepare, as well as how to play at a high level.
“It was very rare that she wasn't smiling and bringing up the morale of the team,” he said. “She will be greatly missed and this team and community will never be the same without her.”
Spencer Wright, who teaches chorus at the school, said Sheer was the “All American Girl.”
“She had the sweetest spirit and had a smile that lit up the room when she walked in,” he said. “She was an amazing singer and I thank God that I was able to share a few years with this young lady. I am also thankful for the way she lived her life in front of my girls. She was a fabulous role model for them and many others.
“This tragedy has left a hole in our hearts, a hole in our choral program and a hole in our community. She will be forever loved and remembered.”
Sheer is the fourth member of the 2018 graduating class to have died while the students were in high school.
Sheer leaves behind her parents, Jason and Robin Sheer, and a younger sister who is in fifth grade at Black’s Mill Elementary School.
A Go Fund Me page has been set up for Sheer to help her family with final expenses. The page, accessible at www.gofundme.com/memorial-for-beloved-grace-sheer, saw over $14,000 in donations in less than 24 hours.
The Sheer family is holding a memorial beginning at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 14 at Mountain Lake Church, located at 31 Successful Way, Dawsonville.
Crumley asks that parents accompany their students should they wish to attend the service.