El Paso, TEXAS (KXAN) — An Austin teacher has died after being swept away by flood waters while hiking in El Paso, according to emergency officials in the area.
The El Paso Fire Department responded to a report of a missing hiker on Monday in the Franklin Mountains, near the Jan Sumrall Memorial Trailhead. On Tuesday afternoon, officials confirmed they found the body of 39-year-old Christina Garcia-Mata.
The Austin Independent School District said Garcia-Mata taught at Akins Early College High School.
In a statement, AISD Superintendent Dr. Stephanie Elizalde said, “We are shocked and saddened to hear of the passing of a member of our Austin ISD family. Christina Garcia-Mata was a dedicated and passionate educator who worked endlessly for her students for 15 years. Her colleagues knew her as a bright, warm presence who could lift their spirits with a smile and a story. We send our heartfelt condolences to her family and every life that she touched.”
According to a post on the Akins ECHS website, Garcia-Mata won the Teacher of the Year award in 2017-18. The post states Garcia-Mata was originally from El Paso and graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso. At the time the post was written, Garcia-Mata was teaching Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID).
The district said they would have guidance counselors available to students or staff who may need help processing her loss.
To speak to a counselor, please contact the Akins ECHS campus at (512) 841-9901.
Author: Avery Travis
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin