Northview High School Junior Michael Gallion stands in front of the memorial stone to honor students and faculty members who have died while attending or on staff at the school since 1988. Gallion took on the task of organizing and completing the flower garden around the stone as part of his Eagle Scout project.
Sidebar: At 10 a.m., Saturday, the public is invited to attend the opening ceremony for the recently completed Northview High School Memory Garden.
A recognition service and a Power Point Presentation highlighting the students and staff members that have died while enrolled or working at the school since 1988 will be held in the NHS Auditorium.
Students and staff members recognized include:
Students Tonya Pickett, Joe Lucas, Steve Draper, Shawn Cooksey, Eric Jordan, Gina Kirchner, Connie Wirta, Tony Stockwell, Sean Mroczeckis, Melanie Bemis, Scott Dickison, Kellyn Andrews, Andrew Griffin, Malcolm McLin, Brianna Wilkerson and Daniel Batchelor.
Staff members Jim Buell and Annette Anderson will also be recognized.
A ribbon cutting ceremony in the garden will immediately follow the service.
By IVY HERRON
The Northview High School Memory Garden was created in 2003 to honor all the students and staff members who have died while enrolled or working at the school since 1988. The memorial stone was placed on the grounds at the school, but the flower garden that was supposed to surround it never quite blossomed, until now.
Northview junior Michael Gallion was eager to take on the project when approached by an advisor.
"I knew some of the people on the list. It's important to remember them," Gallion said about the names of two staff members and 16 students on the memorial stone. "This project has taken over my life the last few months. I been involved in other projects before, but none as big as this one. (Placing the flowers around the Memory Garden) needed to be done and I needed to do an Eagle Scout project, so it worked out for the best."
Gallion collected donations from local merchants, enlisted the help of a local landscaper, organized work crews and spent countless hours planting the memorial flower garden.
When the garden was completed the work wasn't done.
"I've been running everywhere the last few days to try and find the families of our honorees and organize this ceremony," he said. "I really couldn't have gotten all this done without the help of so many people."
Praising Gallion's efforts in completing the project she created, Linda Nicoson told the Clay Community School Board of Trustees at their October meeting that too many young people have lost their lives needlessly in the past few years.
"We don't have kids to waste," Nicoson said. "Seeing this Memory Garden will remind the students of the dangers in their lives. If it saves one life its worth it."
Working on the project become very personal experience for Gallion.
"Because I've had some health issues the past year that made me look at my own mortality this project is very important to me," Gallion said. "As teenagers, we don't think about dying in an accident or something until we are reminded it could happen."