Franklin Hyers saw the potential in people and encouraged them to strive for better.
Many, including former co-workers and students, shared the sentiment several times during a remembrance program held Thursday afternoon at North Augusta Middle School.
Hyers, who died in January, was principal of the school for more than 20 years until he retired in 1996.
Prior to coming to North Augusta, he was the Dean of Students at Berry College in Rome, Ga., taught in Marietta, Ga. and was the principal of Bartow Academy in Wadley, Ga.
“We didn’t want the time to go by that we didn’t honor Mr. Hyers’ contribution to the community, his service to the school for over two decades,” said Angela Burkhalter, a coordinator for the event. “He loved people. People loved him.”
Attendees gathered around a planted tree in Hyers’ memory as his children – Tim Hyers, Tom Hyers and Lisa Hyers Jones – placed soil around it and hanged a small plaque on the tree which read “to teach is to touch a life forever.”
After returning inside, several shared their memories of Hyers between light laughs and a few tears.
“I knew that he had touched a lot of lives but I had no idea that he had really made the impact that he had,” Tom Hyers said after the program. “I am still impressed that he managed to accomplish all that he did...he actually got out amongst everyone and he actually touched people’s lives.”
The program was especially meaningful since a regular memorial service wasn’t held, Tim Hyers said.
“I’m just thankful they did this for us,” added Jones.