Northside music teacher found dead

BCSO: Deanna Tiller killed by boyfriend who turned gun on himself

The Northside Independent School District community is mourning the sudden death of an elementary school music teacher who was the victim of an apparent murder-suicide.

The district confirmed Tuesday afternoon that Deanna Tiller, 50, was found dead in her home, located in the 11000 block of Buck Canyon, in far West Bexar County, by sheriff's deputies.

Tiller had apparently been killed by her boyfriend, who was also found dead inside the home with a single gunshot wound to his head. Investigators believe the couple died sometime on Saturday.

Tiller was a music teacher at Jerry D. Allen Elementary School. Bexar County spokesman Paul Berry said one of Tiller's co-workers became worried when Tiller didn't show up for class Tuesday.

Principal Maria Meza said she informed teachers about Tiller's death throughout the day and sent home a letter with students to inform parents about the situation.

"She was awesome. She spent a lot of time with the students," said Elizabeth Morado, a parent.

Morado was one of the many parents who learned about Tiller's death through the letter. She said her daughter Jewel Herrera was very fond of Tiller and loved being part of the school's choir led by Tiller.

Herrera was just one of the hundreds of students at Allen elementary who were impacted by Tiller's love of music.

Administrators said she shared her passion for music with every student in Kindergarten through 5th grade, using her own iPad and other technology to make her lessons more memorable.

While she had worked for NISD for six years, this was her first year working at Allen Elementary.

Over the summer, the school changed its name from Lackland City to Allen Elementary.

Knowing she was going to start at a brand new school, Tiller penned a new school song without even being asked. The song tapped into the school's motto, "You must believe to achieve."

In her short time on campus, Tiller achieved the respect of her students.

"She inspired us with music and to like music and she was a great music teacher," Jewel Herrera said. "It's sad to not see her again but we'll still keep her with us in our hearts."

Because she had so much contact with the students, NISD is sending a crisis intervention team to the campus on Wednesday to help students and staff deal with their emotions as they come to grips with the loss of a beloved teacher.


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