Mayfield school district mourns loss of third grade teacher in weekend crash


Kim Mashhadi at school and dressed for school as the character Miss Frizzle – Photos Provided

MAYFIELD – With the school year coming to a close, Mayfield Central School District employees, students and town community members are coping with the loss of a longtime resident and third grade teacher. 

Kim Mashhadi, 58, died from injuries she sustained in a car crash early Saturday morning.

Her husband, Anas Mashhadi, suffered injuries officials described as serious, but was released from Albany Medical Center Sunday, said Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino.

Giardino said Frank Vanskiver, the driver of the other car, was originally thought to have minor injuries but is still at St. Mary’s Hospital in Amsterdam. 

The crash happened just after 2:30 a.m. Saturday on County Route 142, near County Highway 107, in the town of Johnstown, officials said. The car driven by Anas Mashhadi was traveling west on 142 when he crossed over the center line and struck a Glove Cities Taxi head-on, officials said. There was no alcohol involved in the crash, officials said. The investigation remains ongoing.

A funeral service for Kim Mashhadi is planned for 11 a.m. Thursday at the Church of the Holy Spirit, 153 S. Main St. in Gloversville. An interment ceremony will follow at Ferndale Cemetery. 

The district will be closed Thursday to allow school community members to attend the services. 

Through tears and laughter, teachers at Mayfield Elementary School recalled Kim Mashhadi as being one of the most kind-hearted, devoted and fun people they’ve ever met and someone that went above and beyond in all that she did. 

Third grade teacher Amie Clute had been teaching alongside Mashhadi for eight years. Mashhadi was one of the very first people she met in the district. Clute said Mashhadi helped her set up her room after Clute was hired the Labor Day before the school year started. 

“We themed our rooms the same way together and I just remember how excited she was to have a partner that was going to work together with her,” Clute said. “She was just always so accommodating to me, so easy going.”

Eventually, Clute, Mashhadi, along with third grade teacher Ali Lilley, all became a team — a family.

“We’re more like Kim’s daughters,” Clute said. “We were always coming up with crazy ideas and pulling her along with us.”

Those crazy ideas included fun Halloween costumes, like the time Mashhadi dressed at Ms. Frizzles for The Magic School Bus and Clute and Lilley went as two of the kids. 

Neither of the ladies will forget the infectious smile or laugh Mashhadi had either. 

“She always had a smile on her face and was always such a positive person,” Clute said.

“You could hear her laugh down the hallway and then you would instantly smile and start laughing,” Lilley said.

The other Kim M. in the school — Kim McMullen, a special education teacher in the third grade, laughed as she recalled Tuesday how Mashhadi would beat her to meetings, meaning she got to write Kim M. on the sign in sheet and McMullen had to spell out her first and last name.

McMullen, who worked with Mashhadi during COVID, said Mashhadi treated her like she was family. McMullen said it was also like everyone knew Mashhadi’s family the way she spoke about them all the time. 

Superintendent Chris Harper said the district is there for Mashhadi’s family.

“Our hearts really ache for Kim’s family,” he said. “We as a school district are a family — our school family, we would do anything to support them in this difficult time. As hard as this is for us, you can imagine how hard it is for them.”

Dogs were part of Mashhadi’s family as well, said Amber Allen, a second grade teacher in the district who had known Mashhadi for 15 years. Mashhadi loved German Shepherds and had two currently, Allen said. 

Mashhadi was known for having a way of knowing when someone wasn’t having a good day and would try to cheer them up, McMullen said. 

“She’d just be like, ‘You’re going to be fine,’ or ‘We got this,’” McMullen said.

And she was also known for always looking for chocolate — on the daily. 

“She would come in and be like, ‘Do you have any chocolate in your desk?’” McMullen said, chuckling at the thought.

Mashhadi was also very active. She was in the Banner Town Bowling League, Allen said.

“She was by far one of the best bowlers in the league,” Allen said. 

But she wasn’t just into bowling either, Mashhadi was known for running marathons and being someone who loved to sing and dance. One of her favorite singers was Cher. 

“The two of us would always sing ‘I Got You Babe’ in the car even though her husband hated Cher, but he didn’t mind when we cranked it up in the car,” Allen said.

Allen said she would sing Cher’s part and Mashhadi would sing Sonny’s part.

“I always told her when she retired we’d have to do the duet at her retirement party,” Allen said.

The teachers all said they don’t know what they’ll do without Mashhadi.

“She’s going to be missed,” Clute said. “Our team will never ever be the same.” 

Mashhadi was born in Gloversville. She attended Mayfield Elementary and then Junior and Senior High School. Mashhadi went on to Fulton-Montgomery Community College, then the University of Rhode Island and finally The College of Saint Rose, according to her obituary. She has a master’s degree in both social work and teaching. Mashhadi is predeceased by her mother Beverly Ashbey and father William Ashbey. She is survived by her husband and children Matthew Mashhadi and Samantha Anne Subik, and their children. She is also survived by three siblings.

Harper said the district is looking at how to honor Mashhadi’s memory but it has not finalized details yet.

By Shenandoah Briere

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