Purple was Dawn Krol's favorite color, and it happens to be the color of the stripes in the Pembroke Central School District's mourning flag, which has been flying this week in memory of the 33-year-old math teacher.
There is a lot of purple inside Pembroke Central High School this week, too, as students and staff remembered her. That doesn't surprise Krol's family.
"She talked about her kids all the time," said her father, Dennis Krol, who said his daughter talked about her colleagues as well. "She loved the area she was in. She found her niche."
Krol, of Clarence, died late Sunday from injuries she suffered in an all-terrain vehicle accident Sunday in the Cattaraugus County Town of Yorkshire. Cattaraugus County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Nathan Root said the ATV she was driving tipped over and rolled onto her Sunday evening. She was taken by ambulance to Bertrand Chaffee Hospital and later transferred to Erie County Medical Center.
Dennis Krol said his daughter loved the outdoors. She liked hiking and camping, water skiing and tubing and other sports. She played softball and tutored children.
"She just loved life," he said. "She was a gift."
"Ms. Krol was an amazing addition to the Dragon family and loved by all of her students, including my own children," Pembroke Superintendent Matthew E. Calderon said in a statement. "I'm thankful for the short time she impacted their lives, and I am inspired by her to continue to do my best to meet the needs of every one of our students."
He said the district had counselors available to meet with students when they returned to school Tuesday, and they will be available to provide emotional support in the coming days.
Krol graduated from Clarence Central High School and SUNY Geneseo, earning a master's degree in mathematics education at the University at Buffalo.
"She loved math, and that's what she set her heart on," Dennis Krol said.
Dawn Krol taught math for six years at Western New York Maritime Charter School before joining the Pembroke faculty last September. Her father said her family is overwhelmed by the support it has received from her colleagues and students.
Krol had the ability to find a way to find the right motivation for each student, said Maritime Commandant Catherine A. Oldenburg.
"She got them to realize they had more potential than they thought they had," she said.
The school will award a scholarship in her memory to a student who persists in math class and will continue on in science, technology, engineering and math. Students held a dress down day and raised more than $500, she said. Donations also can be made on the school's website.
"She was an awesome young lady," Oldenburg said, adding, "very much part of the fabric of Maritime."
"She just enjoyed the kids," Dennis Krol said. "Her students were her kids and she wanted to see them all succeed. She really put her heart into her job."
In addition to her father, Krol is survived by her mother, Margaret; sister, Laurie, and grandmother, Gertrude.
Services will take place at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in Paul A. Kloc Blossom Chapels, 4680 Clinton St., West Seneca.