On Tuesday morning as students of Jackson County returned to school for their first day, things were different on the campus of Sneads High School. Students, teachers, administrators and staff opened their hearts to embrace the families of the four members of the Class of 2015 who have died within the past 2 years.
A special dedication and unveiling of a memorial fountain took place in the school courtyard. The fountain was donated in honor and memory of the four deceased students. The four sided fountain featured each child's face, name, date of birth and death and a scripture from the Bible for each child; Carson Elaina Faircloth, Kristian Bo McClamma, Brandon Hobbs and Teddy Jeter. The unveiling occurred during an emotional and touching ceremony.
Family members for each of the students were seated on granite benches facing their loved ones side of the monument. Sneads High Principal Faye Parker welcomed everyone and thanked all who played a part in making this dedication a reality. Ken Granger, former Assistant Principal of Grand Ridge spoke on behalf of the Faircloth family about their precious Carson. He spoke of getting to know her and of her love for life. Johnny Fontenot spoke for the families and quoted Psalms 34:18, " The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart." One could not have chosen a more fitting verse for this occasion. Tears rolled down the faces of family, friends, students, faculty and many others in attendance as Johnny went on to speak of the changes in life due to a broken heart from the loss of a loved one. Each family was presented a white rose representing purity by the grandmother of Teddy Jeter and they then placed the flower on the fountain in a quiet time of remembrance. Each of the families was presented a Sneads High School yearbook which contained a special dedication to the students.
It was the members of the Class of 2015 that requested a memorial be constructed and dedicated to the memory of these students after a tragic accident claimed the lives of Bo, Brandon and Teddy on September 6, 2012 on Sand Ridge Church Road in Grand Ridge. The accident sent shock waves throughout families and homes all over Jackson and surrounding counties. The class of 2015 had already suffered the loss of Carson Faircloth due to a medical condition the previous year. As the families of the boys suffered through the loss so did the members of the Class of 2015 as well as many other students, faculty, friends.
The death of these students has forever changed Sneads High School. However, the beautifully constructed memorial fountain and the newly renovated courtyard will keep the memories of these students from the Class of 2015 alive for years to come. Let us hope that seeing this memorial might cause some other student to drive more conservatively in the future.
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