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Oct 28, 2013 11:49 AM by Associated Press

Slain Mass. teacher remembered as an inspiration

ANDOVER, Mass. (AP) - A relative eulogizing a Massachusetts teacher allegedly killed by a student last week says she made people feel loved, comforted and optimistic.

Hundreds of people, included about 400 students who arrived in buses, said goodbye Monday to 24-year-old Colleen Ritzer, who taught math at Danvers High School. St. Augustine Church in her hometown of Andover was filled to capacity for her funeral Mass.

Ritzer's cousin Gina McDaniel spoke of her in a prepared eulogy. She says Ritzer made many students enthusiastic about math, even those who did not like the subject at first.

Police say Ritzer was killed in a school bathroom after dismissal Tuesday. Her body was found in woods behind the school. One of her students, 14-year-old Philip Chism, has pleaded not guilty to a murder charge.

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