VIDEO: Hundreds turn out in tribute to 'amazing' teacher Sian
More than 250 students, former pupils and staff turned out this afternoon at a vigil for a Lincoln teacher who drowned while on holiday.
They laid dozens of floral tributes, many with personal messages of condolence, at the main entrance to the Priory City of Lincoln Academy.
And the gathering at the Skellingthorpe Road school was organised exactly a week after Sian Louise Marshall-Plewes died in an early hours swimming accident in the Dominican Republic.
Tributes flowed to the 36-year-old English teacher who had been planning to start a new life on the Caribbean holiday island following a series of personal tragedies including the losses of both her mother and husband.
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Academy director of student welfare Rob Reeve said: "Sian was a very popular teacher and the students wanted to come together to showv their respects.
"It is a sign of how strongly they feel that they have organised it themselves.
"The loss of someone so young is always sad and the circumstances of her death have made it even more so."
Tribute joint organiser Rebecca Davis, 21, set up a Facebook page to gather memories of her former teacher.
"She was just lovely, my English teacher in year seven and my form tutor," said care assistant Miss Davis, from Doddington Park, Lincoln.
Kerry Smith, also 21, now works for Monarch Airways as a cabin crew member based at East Midlands Airport.
"Sian had such a nice personality and was ready to help anyone," she said.
"The tunout here today just shows how popular she was."
Lincolnshire County Council children's services staff member Cameron Patton, 19, left the school in 2011.
"She was more like a friend than a teacher," he said.
"Sian would go out of her way to help you."
Mum-of-one Celeste Mayes, 20, made the trip from her home in Saxilby to join the vigil.
"I only had a Facebook chat with her two weeks ago, discussing a hairdresser," said Miss Mayes, who also left the school two years ago.
"She was just an amazing person, always there for you. and she always asked about my two sisters and two brothers, who she also taught."
Site maintenance worker Ryan Bowness, 20, from Brant road in Lincoln, said Ms Marshall-Plewes was approachable in and out of the classroom.
"After I left school we'd see her a lot in the pub, the Green Barrel on the Birchwood.
"We spent a lot of time with her and she definitely gave me good career advice."
Josh Russell, also 20, from Highfield Avenue in Lincoln, said: "She was my form tutor and she definitely got the best out of most of the pupils she taught."
His friend Matthew White, also 20, was a neighbour on the Birchwood estate.
"It's really tragic that this happened to her because she was definitely one of the nicest teachers in the school," he said.