Community unites with support from others


Madelyn Knight

A sign in honor of Woodward hangs on one of her classroom windows. Her favorite color was green, which is the reasoning for the ribbon.

Lyndsay Valadez, News Editor

When leaving SHS after a day of work, Assistant Principal Andrew Ashcraft realizes why his job is so special. He says that together, after losing a teacher, student and officer, the Southport community has strengthened and become more unified. Yet, he says he still wants to keep coming back to work, no matter how hard it has been emotionally.

Despite the events of this past week, SHS has experienced, as Ashcraft puts it, an “overwhelming” amount of support from the community.

“It’s been really eye opening to see how close-knit our community gets in this time of sadness,” Ashcraft said.

Ashcraft describes how this sequence of events has showed SHS’s toughness, and that as a school, SHS has really “banded together.” He says that none of it could have happened without teachers Jessica Walpole and Sam Hanley who spearheaded most of the effort, and the same goes for Administrative Assistants Ashley Quinlan and Alicia Tasker who stayed over hours to serve the situation as a whole. Senior Gina Pagan agrees that teachers and staff members have helped to not only support students, but also support each other.

Pagan says that she has felt support from student to student too, specifically her dance team, since they are all going through the same rough patch. She now feels much closer with the rest of the team, after the passing of their coach, Megan Woodward. In honor of her they painted the rock outside of the main office green, which was Woodward’s favorite color.

“Now I actually want to hang out with them more than other people because they know what I’m going through,” Pagan said.

Support has also come in from across the township from schools like Homecroft Elementary, Perry Meridian High School, SMS, and other schools by donating pizza and donuts to the staff, lunch to the English Department, more counselors to assist the grieving process. Colts team owner, Jim Irsay, donated $20,000 to a GoFundMe set up for Woodward. Anonymously, lunch was donated to the staff as well. These are among other acts of compassion.