Georgie D. Tyler Middle School dedicated as ‘a jewel’ for Isle of Wight
Published 9:49 am Friday, October 24, 2014
Georgie D. Tyler, an educator in the Isle of Wight for more than 30 years, was remembered amid the pomp and circumstance of the building dedicated in her memory on Sunday.
“Today is a great day not only because our students and staff have a beautiful, state-of-the-art building that reflects the 21st-century education they are receiving, but also because it is named for someone who is very important to this community,” said Dr. Katrise Perera, superintendent of Isle of Wight County Schools. “Mrs. Tyler made it her mission to improve the school buildings here in Isle of Wight County and with the help of the community, she was able to do just that.
“When I reflect upon all that she must have endured during that time to ensure that students had adequate learning environments, I see that some things never change because as Division Superintendent that is also my goal. As I stand here today, I am reminded of Mrs. Tyler’s hard work and the sacrifices that she made as Jeanes Supervisor in this county. This is truly a full circle moment for Isle of Wight County Schools, and we will continue to carry on her legacy.”
Two of Tyler’s family members were then recognized during the program. Jamie Davis McNeil and James Davis III, who are Tyler’s niece and nephew, came down for the occasion from Baltimore, Maryland.
“I learned more about her history,” Davis said. “I knew that she was the superintendent, but I know more since then.”
“I know her spirit is with us,” said Julia Perkins, chairwoman of the school board. She also referenced a line from Tyler’s autobiography, “To me, life has been meaningful.”
Delores “Dee Dee” Darden, county board supervisor for Windsor, called the new school both “a jewel and a centerpiece the school division.”
She quoted Benjamin Franklin, “An investment in education always pays the highest returns,” and added: “We’re expecting huge dividends from you, and I know you can achieve them. We’re taking the fire of Mrs. Tyler and passing it on to the new generation.”
Praising the building as “one of the most beautiful schools I’ve ever seen,” Windsor Mayor Carita Richardson said, “The town is extremely proud of having the school in Windsor. Our school system is already known for its excellence and our youth are our future. The town is committed to partnering with the school system. All you have to do is ask.”
Before introducing a video presentation, Principal Susan Goetz said, “To those who supported the school, this was the right decision for the kids.”
Included in the program, Broc Smith directed the band and chorus. Written by Stephen Mellor of Smithfield, they performed the school fight song, “Titans’ Triumph!”
“I thought the occasion really warranted it,” Smith said of the commission, made possible by the school’s booster organization.
During the reception, teachers Brenda Richardson Brown and Jacqueline Clarke collectively expressed their gratitude for being in a new school.
“I love it! I am elated! It’s long overdue for a place where we can function properly,” they said.
William Hill of Suffolk said that he finished at the former Windsor school, which was recently torn down.
He remembered of Tyler, “Everyone respected her.”