Teachers, students tearful remembering lost principal - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Teachers, students tearful remembering lost principal

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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WATER VALLEY, Miss. (FOX13) -

Principal Dr. Carol Gary and her 11-year-old son Patrick Gary were found dead in their Oxford home just shy of one week ago. Oxford Police arrested and charged Carol's son, 25-year-old Regis Mister, in connection with their murders.

On Thursday, Davidson Elementary students and staff in nearby Water Valley held a memorial for Dr. Gary.

"She changed our lives here; she really did," said Davidson Elementary Assistant Principal Grace Dickerson.

Before becoming Davidson Elementary's principal, Dr. Gary was the principal at a local alternative school. One of her colleagues, Rachelle Pegues, attended Thursday's memorial.

"Whatever you needed her to be that's what she was: If you needed her to be mom at the time, she was mom; if you needed her to be counselor at the time, she was counselor," said Pegues.

Pegues added that it is Dr. Gary who inspired and motivated her to return to school to become a teacher.

"I realized the mistakes I made when I was going to school. I didn't finish all the way," said Pegues. "But she kind of gave me the extra boost. She said, ‘You're going to be in education, you need to be paid for being in education.'"

Dr. Gary even held her youngest students to that same standard. Dickerson recalled Dr. Gary telling the staff,  "'I don't care if Water Valley is a small school district, I don't care if our students are poor; there's more and we are the ones that are going to make the difference.'"

Davidson Elementary's staff is setting up a scholarship in Dr. Gary's name. Dickerson said that it will not necessarily go to the "A" student, but a student who embodies Dr. Gary's characteristics including compassion and drive.

School will be out for the day at Davidson Elementary to allow students and staff to attend the visitation for Dr. Gary and Patrick Gary. It will be held Friday at Robertson Funeral Home in Grenada, Miss., from 1-6 p.m.

The funeral will be held Saturday in Water Valley.

MORE: Slain principal's son charged in her death denied bond

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