The 681 kids at Vista Elementary knew Susan Smith as the office manager who made them laugh and took their attendance records. A fixture at the school district for 16 years, Smith loved dancing and never missed a dance recital.
"She would help with our recitals backstage," said Joy Alvarez, a family friend. "She was the main person running our shows. She always had a smile on her face and was always the happiest, loving person."
Smith, 53, was among the 59 people killed when a gunman opened fire Sunday evening from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel on thousands of people at the Route 91 festival in Las Vegas.
School district officials received a call from her family Monday that Smith died at the concert. Grief counselors were called out to support students and staff.
"It's numbing," said Suzanne Smith, another family friend was in shock. "It doesn't seem real."