Never can say goodbye

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 15, 2006

MERRY HILL – After almost five decades of graduating elementary school students and preparing them for the next level, the Merry Hill community honored the closing of J.P. Law here Saturday.

Several current and former faculty members joined Bertie County Schools Superintendent Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart for a big sendoff for the school that has served the Merry Hill Community for over 45 years.

The day’s events kicked off with a parade that began at the Merry Hill Post Office. The parade included a caravan of cars carrying supporters and students to include the elementary school’s reining ‘King & Queen’.

Residents of the community lined the road for the parade route, waving at the vehicles and even horses that were part of the celebration contingency.

After the parade, Dr. Collins-Hart was the keynote speaker at a ceremony inside the school’s gymnasium where the community was allowed to speak about their respective memories of the J.P. Law’s history.

Several appreciation awards were handed out and special recognition was made of the school’s eldest living faculty member.

Ruth James, who will be 101 years old on August 17, was on hand for the celebration to receive a certificate of appreciation. James is the daughter of J.P. Law, the man who the school was named after.

Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Collins-Hart’s theme was centered on the topic &uot;How are the Children?’&uot;

&uot;There is no way that we cannot mourn the loss of this school. Yet, we need to look at this situation as a new beginning,&uot; she said.

Reflecting on the events that led to the announcement of the school closing Dr. Collins-Hart added, &uot;This time last year I had no idea that I would be standing here under these circumstances.&uot;

The superintendent concentrated on the future of the students from Merry Hill who have been accustomed to having a school in their neighborhood for so many years that will now be forced to travel to a new environment.

Dr. Collins-Hart added, &uot;The students from Merry Hill can look forward to high quality teachers, full time counselors, a full time nurse, art and music teacher.&uot;

Several stations were set up on the campus where food and drinks were served after the appreciation ceremony.

Approximately 150 people attended the event .