RANDOLPH, GA (WALB) - “I am going to finish out strong for Mr. Smith. It is a must, that is all he told me to do, do more work, keep pushing. I got to get up out of here. This is my last year,” says Matthew Cannon, Senior at Randolph-Clay High School.
Those are the heart felt words of Randolph-Clay High School Senior Matthew Cannon as he remembers his math teacher Kevin Smith.
Principal Dr. Kimberly Ingram says Smith made a huge impact in students' lives.
“Very supportive. He traveled went to all of their ball games. He always had a kind word, he arrived early in the morning to do morning duty. He would beat me here and I get here at seven,” says Dr. Ingram.
Dr. Ingram says it has been a difficult week for students.
“The kids were talking about it like was it true. We made an announcement over the PA system and we had our crisis team available to meet with students,” says Dr. Ingram.
It was a priority for teachers and faculty to make sure students had an opportunity to honor and remember Mr. Smith together.
“We had our version of our celebration of life for him. We released balloons in his honor. The space where he parked on a regular basis, we have marked that space off for the rest of the year,” says Dr. Ingram.
Dr. Ingram says the upcoming months will be hard for students but she believes they are strong and will get through it together.
“We are only here for a time. We have to cherish each other, be good to each other, but we definitely have to finish the school year strong,” says Ingram.
The high school is also in the process of planting a memory garden for Smith.