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In a solemn but inspiring ceremony Thompson Early Childhood Center dedicated a memorial garden to honor two very special people who touched their lives in many ways.

Kay Gresham, the school’s former director and Lakkysha Glover, a former teacher, were honored during a memorial dedication ceremony May 20, attended by members of Onslow County Schools’ staff, administrators and Board of Education members along with members of the community.

During their service with Onslow County Schools both women left a lifelong mark on their students and colleagues. A living memorial seemed the most appropriate tribute. Along a pathway used daily by students and staff, a tree was planted for Gresham and Glover; in front of each tree is their dedication marker, and near both is a bench. TECC teacher Theresa Petty said the trees were the best way to honor the two, because when you think of a tree, you think of its roots.

“We will be supported by the roots each has given us,” she said. “The bench is for those who want to sit and reflect, and perhaps get a vision of their own.”

Glover served as a teacher’s assistant for two years, prior to her untimely death at the age of 27. During that time, though short, she was clearly committed and passionate about education and she gave her all to the pre-school children each and every day, said Hannah Pettaway, a co-worker at the time.

“She was a giant; she was a very giving person … it was an honor to work with her, love her and (today) to honor her,” she said. “I will remember the happy times we shared during her time with us.”

Gresham devoted her life to children. She spent her entire professional career in the Onslow County School System in a variety of roles: teacher, administrator of federal programs, executive director of Head Start and most recently as director of Early Childhood Initiatives and Federal Services at Thompson Early Childhood Center.

Lesley Eason, associate superintendent of instructional services described Gresham as “a visionary leader with a purpose.” She wanted students to have the very best opportunities available.

“She was vested in her work and she expected others to work as diligently as she did,” she said. “Her heart rested right here at Thompson ….”

School Board Chairwoman Pam Thomas also dedicated the school’s multi-purpose room to Gresham; it will now be known as the Dr. Kay B. Gresham Multi-purpose Center.

“Her legacy goes beyond this room; (her work will continue to increase exponentially) and touch the lives of many, many people for many, many years to come,” she said.

Refreshments were served following the ceremony giving friends a chance to share their memories.

 

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