Pasco school official loses fight with cancer

Letty Morrissette, a longtime teacher and assistant principal in Pasco, died in Kennewick on Valentine's Day after a battle with cancer. She was 56.

Morrissette last was the assistant principal at Ruth Livingston Elementary School. She had worked in Pasco schools since 1976, when she was a migrant aide at Pasco High School while still attending Central Washington University.

"She was a very big believer in public education," said Mark Morrissette, her husband.

Fluent in Spanish and English, the Texas native spent her life teaching Pasco's youth, particularly those who needed help with the English language. She began her full-time career in Pasco schools in 1979, teaching migrant kids at Captain Gray Elementary.

Morrissette next worked with migrant students at James McGee Elementary, where she eventually became the assistant principal.

When she encountered a problem with a student, she'd ask the kid to come up with a plan, her husband said. "One of her favorite phrases was 'How are we going to fix it?' " he said. "That way, she'd have the buy-in and the commitment from the student."

Over the years, she was the assistant principal at Ruth Livingston Elementary, Maya Angelou Elementary and Virgie Robinson Elementary. She returned to Ruth Livingston Elementary in fall 2010.