SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - The former teacher and coach of a 24-year-old woman shot and killed outside a Sioux Falls hair salon describes her as a fun-loving and hard-working young lady who was a joy to have in the classroom.

Police say the salon manager was killed Tuesday trying to protect an employee.

Read Jay Williams' piece on the effect of Amanda's death had on him personally: 'Amanda Connors Believed in Something Bigger'

Amanda Connors attended school in Ellsworth, Minn., beginning in second grade. She graduated in 2007.

Teacher Ken Kvaale tells KELO-TV that Connors was a sparkplug in both athletics and the classroom.

Connors graduated from the Stewart School of Hairstyling four years ago with a promising career ahead. Senior instructor Penny Thompson says Connors was a woman of integrity with a positive, upbeat and hard-working attitude.

Thompson says Connors always had great smile, and people saw it a lot.