Angels’ bells

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Students at Banks School gathered recently in front of the memorial tree they decorated in honor of Hadley May, Shep Pugh and Shep'€™s mother, Brittany. Proceeds from the tree will help purchase books for the school. (Photo/Jaine Treadwell)

Banks students honor memory of May, Pugh

“Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings.”

The quote from the popular Christmas movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life” was the inspiration for the 2011 Angel Tree at Banks Primary School.

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The Christmas tree has been decorated with 213 tiny bells that honor the memory of two little angels, Hadley May and Shep Pugh, and Shep’s mom, Brittany, this Christmas season.

“Hadley became an angel on Dec. 7, 2006, and Brittany and Shep joined her in heaven on March 7, 2011,” said Karen Smith, a teacher at Banks Primary School. “Hadley’s grandmother, Ann Dunn, and Shep’s grandmother, Kathy Pugh, are both teachers here at Banks Primary School and we wanted to remember them all in a loving way this Christmas.”

Kathy Pugh expressed appreciation to the students for the love shown for Hadley, Shep and Brittany.

“I’ve been at Banks Schools for 29 of the 35 years I have been teaching,” she said. “We are like family here and the school in like our home. Ann and I found ourselves in the same boat in our loses and everyone has been so supportive. It has meant so much to both of us. This Angel Tree is very special to us. We can never say ‘thank you’ enough.”

The primary school students had an opportunity to purchase bells for the school’s Angel Tree for a dollar each with the proceeds to be donated to the Banks Library Fund, which is supported by the Dunn, Pugh, Smith Memorial Library Fund, that also memorializes Patrick Smith, the son of Angela Smith, who also teaches at Banks School. Patrick, a bull rider, died as the result of a rodeo injury in February 2002.

“In the spring, our PTO officers were discussing some of the areas we felt really deserved our attention and we realized that our library was in need of new books, higher Advanced Reader books, generally, more books,” Smith said. “We also discussed that we had three teachers who are synonymous with Banks Schools. All three of them have huge investments in our schools and they have all faced tremendous personal tragedies and have stood strong in their faith. The strength each one of them displayed was nothing short of miraculous. They have each left a lasting imprint on the hearts of every person who knows them, especially our family here at Banks School.”

In recognition of the impact these teachers have left on the Banks Schools and the Banks community, the PTO board of officers created a fund know as the Dunn, Pugh, Smith Memorial Library Fund.

“We have made a commitment that each year, the PTO will donate $500 in books to the school’s library,” Smith said. “We have also opened this fund to the public for the donation of funds and books. Anyone who would like to donate a book in honor or memory of someone is invited to do so.”

For more information about the Dunn, Pugh, Smith Memorial Library Fund, call Banks Schools at 243-5514 or 243-5990.