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Beddingfield High School staff and students are mourning the loss of English teacher and friend Scott Jones.
Jones, 50, died Saturday after a recent illness and hospitalization.
Principal F.T. Franks said Jones was meant to be in the classroom and served as a mentor to his students.
“We were blessed the last 13 years to have him in our hallways,” he said.
Franks said Jones was devoted to preparing his students and loved teaching grammar. He made sure every comma was in the right place, he said.
Students loved his stories and his wisdom and will miss him, Franks said.
“They just loved him so much.”
Monday morning, Franks met with his staff and discussed how to talk to students about the loss. He told them to lead from their heart and talk to the grieving students as they would talk to their own kids.
Franks went to Jones’ class today to talk to them. He and other teachers took turns teaching his classes last week while Jones was in the hospital. He said some students were emotional on Monday, and others were more “robotic,” going through the motions. Many said they felt fortunate to have known him, Franks said, and to be in his classes.
Grief counselors from Forest Hills Middle School and Fike and Hunt high schools helped out and talked to students who needed them, he said.
Beddingfield will have a memorial service for Jones on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. in the school auditorium. Franks said the community is welcome.
Jones was also a former sports reporter for The Wilson Times and continued writing stories and taking photographs for the sports department.
Tom Ham worked with Jones at the newspaper and said he is in a state of disbelief.
“I can’t believe he’s gone. I’ve lost a great, great friend, companion and cohort,” Ham said. “We were a pretty good team for The Wilson Times sports department for years and years.”
Ham said Jones’ passion was following Tar Heels football and basketball.
“He traveled anywhere and everywhere to be there. He might have an obligation with the Times sports department that could possibly create a hardship, but Scott was going to find a way to be where the Tar Heels were playing the next day.”
Ham said he had looked forward to many more football, basketball and spring sports trips with him.
“I was blessed that our life’s paths crossed.”
Ham extended his condolences to Jones’ daughter, Kenyu Jones, a recent Beddingfield graduate.
A graveside service will be held Wednesday at 2 p.m. at St. Mary Episcopal Church Cemetery in Speed. Visitation is Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at Carlisle Funeral Home in Tarboro.