March 14, 2013
Julia Roberts Goad
TOLER, Ky. — Southside Elementary gathered to pay tribute to one of their own, Carmen Keene, a headstart teacher who passed away this week.
A program of music and prayer was highlighted by a balloon release, with each grade at the school sharing a word they felt described Ms. Keene: devoted, compassionate, unique, loving, caring and funny. Her headstart class used the word ‘purple’ as they released purple balloons into the air.
A tree was planted in her honor at the school, accompanied by a memorial bench built by the Belfry High Vocational School. Members of Ms. Keene’s family took part in a ceremony dedicating the tree to Ms. Keene.
Carolyn Hylton, a former teacher at Southside, wrote a tribute that was read at the ceremony, part of which follows:
“For all of us who worked with her, the children who loved her and all whose lives were happier because of her, there is a huge emptiness now. Her gift to us will remain through the faces of the hundreds that she taught and loved unconditionally.”