SACRAMENTO, CA — A popular visual arts teacher at St Francis High School was killed while taking pictures of an oncoming train.

Police said 52-year-old Kathy Carlisle was on train tracks near the campus of St Francis, taking pictures of an approaching train, when she was struck from behind by a train travelling in the opposite direction. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The president of St. Francis said the school canceled classes on Monday and organized a memorial service for Carlisle. They’re also providing grief counselors and allowing students to set up a memorial and posting a bulletin board for students who want to share memories or express their grief.

“We’re taking this opportunity to really reflect on the tremendous gift that she was to our community,” said Reid Brown. “She was so skilled and passionate in her work, and really had a gift. The girls understood that she had a gift to share with them.”

Carlisle, a married mother of three, taught 600 students at the all girl Catholic school since 2008. Students are posting about her passion for art, her love for the color orange, and how much she had touched their lives.

“You brought such a colorful spark to each of our lives and we love and miss you so much ms. Carlisle more than words can express,” one student wrote. “Mrs. Carlisle showed me how to convey the beauty in everything and everyone. She will be greatly missed,” tweeted another.

Carlisle was an award-winning photographer and well-known in the visual arts community, known for using painting and other forms of artistic expression to help students understand the horrors of the Holocaust.

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