TODAY   |  October 24, 2013

Friend: Slain teacher ‘made everyone’s life better’

Friends of murdered Danvers, Mass. teacher Colleen Ritzer tell TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie the 24-year-old was “inspirational,” and deserved “every good thing in life.” A student is charged with her murder.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> well, three of colleen ritzer's closest friends are with us now. good morning to all of you.

>> good morning.

>> good morning.

>> this is such a sad story t. more we learn about colleen the more we know the world has lost a really wonderful person. jennifer , you have known her since kindergarten, what would you want people to know about her?

>> i just want people to know how special of a person she was. she was my best friend in the whole world and knowing her has made my life so much better. it's made everyone's life better.

>> dan, this is such a shock. had you ever heard her talk about any kind of problem with a student, any worries at school?

>> no, and, you know, of everyone i've ever known in my life, she is the last person i would think that something like this could happen to because every report and every story that you read about how kind and gentle and caring she was was absolutely true. it wasn't just painting a picture. that's who colleen was and it's just, it broke my heart to know this was, that this could happen to her of all people.

>> and meredith, i know you have known her since high school . what we are learning is she was an extraordinarily dedicated and energetic teacher. was this something she always wanted to do?

>> yes. i remember high school , always like when we were up a going through college applications and deciding what schools we wanted to apply to, always knew from day one, she wanted to be a teacher to go to assumption college , just really, she's such an inspirational person.

>> jennifer , we are learning more and more about your friend by looking at some of the things she posted on social media . she seemed to have i think a wisdom beyond her years. she wrote back in august, no matter what happens in life, be good to people. being good to people is a wonderful leg aets to leave behind. was she the kind of girl that liked to reflected?

>> oh, definitely. i mean, i don't think she ever found a quote she didn't like and didn't want to share with people. she was that person. she wanted not to have that public relief for herself, it was social service . she wanted to share that with as many people as she could.

>> jennifer , she posted this bucket list online. it breaks your heart to read. she wanted to visit christmas at the pier and marry the-of my life and name my daughter after my grandmother. she steamed say her life.

>> she had so much to look forward to and there were so many things that she should have been able to do and she's not going to be able to do all those things that she deserves. she's a great person that deserves every good thing in life.

>> i know it is not easy to be here, dan, you said something to us before we went on, you wanted to breathe meaning into her name. i think you have done that this morning. thank you so much for being here.

>> thank you for telling her