(Posted Dec. 23, 2017)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
How do you memorialize an educator whose positive impact was so profound and touched so many people? How do you create a lasting tribute that captures that person’s character?
A group of parents, current and former teachers, and community members have found a way.
On Dec. 12, the London school board approved the group’s plan to raise funds for and erect a monument at London Elementary in remembrance of Carol A. Daniels.
Daniels served London City Schools for over 40 years, the last 30 as principal at the elementary. She passed away on July 9 following a battle with cancer.
In explaining how the monument idea came together, former teachers Stephanie Huddleston and Bonnie Hamilton and parent Sheri Spahn said they knew it should be inspirational and classy, “just like Carol.”
The monument will take the form of an open book standing six feet high and five-and-a-half feet wide. Made of red granite, it will feature a portrait of Daniels and a tribute written by Alicia Anthony, a reading specialist at London Elementary and a London graduate.
“In five years when the students who are here now leave the building, we want the students coming in to always know who Carol was,” said second-grade teacher Khara Cunningham.
“We wanted Carol’s memory set in stone,” said fifth-grade teacher Chad Reeser. About the decision to go with red, one of the school colors, he added, “Carol had more school spirit than anybody, so it fits perfectly that it would be red.”
The monument, dubbed for now as “Carol’s Corner,” will sit at the northwest corner of the elementary building, near the flag pole, where everyone coming and going will see it.
Private donations will cover the cost of the project, estimated at $13,000. The group aims to raise $4,000 by the end of January for a down payment. Their goal is to raise the remaining funds by June.
Dedication of the monument will take place on Sept. 13, known at London Elementary as “Lemonade Day,” a.k.a. Carol’s birthday.
“One of Carol’s favorite sayings was, ‘When life gives you lemons…make lemonade,’ ” said second-grade teacher Melinda Scott.
The school district is establishing a fund to accept donations for the project. Updates will be posted on Twitter (@DanielsMemorial). Anyone interested in making a donation can contact Sheri Spahn at email@example.com.