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Memorial garden, scholarship honor deceased fourth-grader

At 2 p.m. May 22, Phil Campbell Elementary School held a special ceremony to dedicate the Sylas Hardin Memorial Garden, located at the front of the school, and to acknowledge the first two recipients of the scholarship fund in his name: Brianna Palmer and Brent Gonzalez of Phil Campbell High School.

Members of the Hardin family attended, as well as Mike Norton of Leisure Creations Furniture, which donated the bench for the memorial garden.

Sylas Hardin, of Spruce Pine, was a fourth-grader at Phil Campbell Elementary School when he passed away Dec. 17, 2018. He was 10 years old.

Fourth-grade teachers Tracey Cook, Juliann Riley and Lorie Dorroh described Sylas as a friend to all, kind and always ready with encouraging words and a hug – ready to cheer anyone up and make them laugh.

They also praised his wonderful work ethic, his eagerness to participate and learn, his generosity and his treatment of everyone with equal respect. They said Phil Campbell Elementary is a better place because of Sylas being a student there, citing his wonderful example of leadership and friendship.

“The Hardin family has been great supporters of our school and community for many years,” said Phil Campbell Elementary School Principal Jennifer Warhurst. “We are happy to do what we can to honor the memory of such a wonderful young student.

“Sylas truly loved school and should be remembered by the great character he exhibited and especially for being a friend to all who knew him,” Warhurst added. “It was a beautiful day to remember such a precious child. Thank you to all who helped make the day special.”

The elementary school designed and sold T-shirts to help raise money for the scholarship fund.

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