By Faith Callens
CENTER POINT — April 22, 2021, was not just Earth Day but a special day that faculty and students in the Center Point area will remember forever.
There were two tree planting ceremonies held at Erwin Middle School and Center Point High School in honor of Mrs. Connie Everett, who worked as a registrar at Erwin Elementary/Intermediate, and as an administrative assistant at Erwin Middle and Center Point High School.
Everett passed away on March 12, 2021, after losing the battle to throat and lung cancer.
A former student, Octavious Pierce, took things into his own hands after he found out about her death. He went to City Hall and spoke with Mayor Bobby Scott. Together, they organized a tree-planting ceremony and dedication service in Everett’s honor.
The tree-planting ceremony consisted of planting a red-leafed tree and a plaque that recognized Everett as a true Eagle in the community.
“It took me two weeks to plan this and I came and talked to the principal to see was she okay with it and I talked with Everett’s daughters and the family and they went on to spread the word,” said Pierce. “I also went on Facebook and to the schools.”
Everett was employed with the Jefferson County School District for 22 years and throughout that time, she interacted with many students.
Center Point High School Principal Van Phillips stated that the tree planting ceremony is not only in remembrance of Everett, but it should be a reminder to the community to take care of the earth. Phillips also encouraged students that the tree planted for Everett will act as a marker of growth.
“We have to take care of our ecosystem and our trees,” said Phillips. “This tree is planted today in memory of Mrs. Connie Everett. This tree will grow as you all mature and matriculate to Center Point High School and let this tree be used as a reminder that you have a part to play in our environment and you have a part to play in being kind and gentle to your fellow man, fellow person or woman.”
Students from Center Point High School and some of the Center Point city workers worked together to plant the tree in the ground and place Everett’s marker so it can be easily viewed.
The first tree was planted in front of Erwin Middle School, behind the school’s brick sign, and the second tree was planted by the Center Point High School auditorium, to the left of the school.
Students and the faculty of Center Point High School and Erwin Middle School said that she will be truly missed and that she will always be a part of their schools.