Woman killed in Massillon remembered as teacher who made huge impact

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AKRON, Ohio-- Teachers in Akron were preparing for a new school year on Monday, while also collectively grieving the loss of a colleague killed in a double homicide late Saturday.

Tara Clossman, 25, and her boyfriend, Michael Lovette, 33, were both shot as they pulled out of Lovette's Massillon driveway with him at the wheel.

Police believe an ex-boyfriend, Shane Varner, 29, was responsible.

Varner was taken to a local hospital after surviving an apparent attempt to take his own life at his Jackson Township home.

Clossman was being remembered as an enthusiastic, energetic teacher who had already made an enormous impact after just having taught fourth grade for a little over a year at Voris Community Learning Center in Akron.

The opportunity was described by her co-workers as Clossman's dream job.

"She came and was very energetic and excited about the opportunity to transition from a tutoring role into a regular classroom role. She had really been waiting for a couple of years to really have that opportunity, was really excited about that," said Kathleen Durkin.

"She worked really hard at building a strong relationship- that she was someone that they could trust, if they needed help with something beyond just reading, writing and math," said Voris principal Jennifer Douglas.

"She made sure that they were becoming well-rounded individuals and I do think that even though she was here for a short period of time, I think her impact was great and I think that her students are really going to feel that void," added Douglas.

Away from school, Clossman was also passionate about dance.

She taught dancing several nights a week at McCardles Dance Studio in Cuyahoga Falls but spent much of her spare time there.

Studio founders, Don and Carolee McCardle, and their daughter, Colleen, watched her grow up from the time she was five.

"The kids just absolutely loved her. She was looked up to by all the teenage girls; my daughter was one of her best friends," said Colleen McCardle Contillo.

The McCardles were at the studio on Monday inflating balloons to release as they prepared to begin a new dance season.

"We decided to go ahead and start our season tonight but we are going to maybe dance a little, maybe dance none," said Colleen.

"We are going to send her off with a picture board memory and a memory box. We are going to have, we are going to let balloons go after prayer and people saying what they need to say to Tara," she added.

"I just keep saying that Tara was the glitter and the sparkle, you know; I tell everyone that is what has to live in our hearts, because that was her and she was passionate about so many things," added Colleen.

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