The Sherman Independent School District is mourning the loss of two teachers, both of whom died this week.

“It is with a heavy heart that I share with you the tragic loss of two members of our school community,” Sherman ISD Superintendent David Hicks said in an email circulated to district employees Thursday. “On Monday, Sherman High School Construction and Architecture teacher, Paul Turner, lost his battle with cancer. Yesterday, Piner Middle School Physical Education teacher and coach, Gerald Plumlee, was killed in a tragic tractor accident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Turner and Plumlee families.”

After earning his teaching certificate from the University of North Texas, Turner joined the district in 2007 and established Sherman High School’s current building trades program. He is survived by his wife and their three children.

“Paul Turner’s impact on Sherman High School is immeasurable,” Sherman High School Principal Chris Mogan said. “He has been at the school for more than a decade and worked with and taught thousands of students in that time.”

Plumlee joined the district in 2001 and served as a teacher and coach at Piner Middle School. He is survived by his wife, a special-education teacher at Neblett Elementary School, and their three children, who all attend Sherman ISD schools.

“Coach Plumlee taught, coached, and mentored students and athletes at Piner and in the Sherman community,” Piner Middle School Principal Amy Porter said. “He built strong relationships with kids and really made a difference for so many. His reach and positive influence goes beyond our campus and we are truly saddened by his loss.”

District counselors will be available for students and staff upon their return from the holiday break.

“Our schools and community will surround both of these families with love, support, and compassion during this difficult time,” Hicks said. “Students and staff are already coming together to support and encourage one another and to plan on how to best honor the memory of these outstanding men.”