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Hundreds show up to mourn, remember CPS student who died suddenly

‘I don’t think she knew she had this much love.’
Published: Mar. 17, 2022 at 8:00 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 16, 2022 at 7:39 AM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Family and friends of Sha’Niya Clark describe the teen who passed away last week as effortlessly magnetic, the sort of person who left a positive impact wherever she went without trying.

The 18-year-old Western Hills High School student died suddenly on March 11 after feeling ill. School officials announced Clark’s death on social media Monday afternoon.

Hundreds of CPS students and staff gathered on Thursday for a balloon release to commemorate Clark’s life. Clark’s mother, Kisha Howard was one of those in attendance.

“I don’t even think she knew she had this much affect on people,” Howard said. “I don’t think she knew.”

Clark’s teammates on the school cheer and volleyball teams say much the same.

“We’re all teenagers,” said Alicia Harris, “so you don’t really notice how big of an impact you can really make.”

Harris played with Clark on the volleyball team, which Clark captained. “My mood would go up so high every time I saw her,” she said.

Anna Coyler, West High teacher and junior varsity volleyball coach, said of Clark, “She was fierce. She was strong and opinionated—in a good way.”

Ciarra Swain, Shelly Glover were also on the volleyball squad.

“You don’t really want to believe it at first, when it first happens,” Swain said, “so when you come to the reality that it did happen it hurts even more.”

Added Glover, “An angel. That’s all I can say, because that’s all she was, an angel.”

Clark’s family still has unanswered questions surrounding her cause of death, which has not been officially released. Her condition seemed to deteriorate quickly from the time she went home from school sick Thursday of last week.

“She was having complications Friday,” Athletic Director Phillip O’Neal explained Monday. “[She] was having trouble breathing, and she just ended up passing away when the ambulance came.”

Meanwhile, Howard is focused on remembering the daughter she described as spunky and a leader. She said Clark had a smile that could light up a room.

“I tried to tell her, but I don’t think she knew she had this much love.”

The family awaits the autopsy results to learn more about how Clark died.

The funeral will be held 11 a.m. on March 26 at Greater St. John AME Zion.

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