Students, faculty and staff of Brookings-Harbor High School will gather in the school gym at 4 p.m. Thursday to remember teacher Lynda McDonald.

McDonald, who worked at Brookings-Harbor High School for the last 10 years, was taken to Sutter Coast Hospital Saturday, where she suffered a stroke. She was 43.

High school Principal Floyd Strandberg, who was with Lynda in the hospital, said she was well-loved by students and highly respected by her fellow teachers.

She was a superior teacher and everybody loved her, he said.

Lynda was a language arts teacher and the chairwoman of the high schools foreign language department.

She was elected president of the teachers union for the 2000-01 school year. She was nominated for the districts exceptional recognition award in April 2001. She was voted teacher of the year by the senior class of 1999.

Lyndas family, in a way, was the school, said Superintendent Paul Prevenas. She gave more than was expected of her and she will be missed.

Lyndas family, including her father, Alfred McDonald, of Mississippi, decided to hold the funeral services in the high school gym to accommodate the expected large number of mourners.

Al McDonald said the school was Lyndas life and he wanted the services to be at the school.

Lynda attended Trinity Lutheran Church and Pastor Gordon Myrah said a full Lutheran funeral with a closed casket is scheduled. Refreshments are to be served afterward.

The McDonald family has requested that all donations be made to the Brookings-Harbor High School Library account.

Faculty and staff were contacted throughout the day Sunday following McDonalds death, Strandberg said.

The high school staff held a special meeting at 7:30 a.m. Monday to prepare for grieving students and teachers.

A special grieving room for students was set up at the schools library and a separate one was established for adults, he said. The rooms were to remain open as needed.

Several ministers from area churches and a counselor from the county health department were on campus to console the grief-stricken.

Plans for the funeral services on Thursday include musical performances by the schools various choirs. Students are drafting letters about Lynda, some of which will be read during the service, Strandberg said.

Were planning a celebration of her life for the students and for all the things Lynda did during her career, he said. There will be tears and sadness, but there will be rejoicing too.

Lynda was credited for developing a strong foreign language department at the high school. She taught both Spanish and French. Many students took her classes several years in a row.