Surf City Middle School plants tree in honor of 7th grader who died during the school year

HAMPSTEAD, NC (WWAY) — Family and friends of Isaiah Hansley gathered at Surf City Middle School on Friday for a tree dedication in his honor.

“On Earth Day we thought it was a great idea for us to plant a tree for Isaiah,” Surf City Middle School Principal Heather Bridgers said. “We’re adding a plaque to the base and it says planted in memory of Isaiah Hansley 2022.”

Members of Isaiah’s family were joined by fellow students, faculty and staff for dedication, including three students who spoke about Isaiah, remembering the boy he was and how he inspired them and others around him.

“We’ve been meeting with students over the past couple of weeks, many of them are with us here today,” SCMS counselor Christie Smith said. “It is evident from the memories that they’re sharing and their time together that Isaiah was a very special student and that in these memories and the way that he took care of everybody, he is still with us and he will be with us for a very long time.”

Counselors and school psychologists were made available to parents, students and staff members following Isaiah’s death.

“God showed me a tree, actually showed me a seed being planted,” Pastor Pamela Simmons said, who spoke on behalf of the family. “Isaiah was a beautiful person and he did plant many seeds into all of us. His memories will last forever.”

During its March meeting, the Pender County Board of Education unanimously voted to approve a request to plant a tree in memory of the 13-year-old student at the school.

The cherry tree is located at the front of Surf City Middle School allowing all who enter to see it.

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