By Gerri Miller
The Beautification Class of Stanhope Elmore High School and the Class of 1970 came together Wednesday to plant a white oak tree on the front lawn of the school as a memorial to Coach Conrad Henderson.
Henderson was the first Head Coach for Stanhope Elmore High School when it was established in the 1960s and later served as principal of the school. He died in August of this year, and his funeral was held in September in the gymnasium of the school he loved and served for so many years. Coach Henderson’s impact will continue, and his legacy will live on for those who knew and loved him.
Kay Brown Cord, a Class of 1970 member, was the project coordinator and Patsy Ingram Moring, Pete Culpepper and Deborah Gilliam helped with the project. Cord said one of her class members suggested they plant an oak tree in honor of the Coach Henderson because he was strong like the tree.
Cord said Coach Henderson taught civics to her class and every where she goes someone has a positive story to tell about how he touched his or her life. Culpepper, who played football for Coach Henderson, was one of those people.
“Coach Henderson made an impact on every student he met. It didn’t matter if they were football players, girls or boys; he made a difference in the lives of all of his students,” Culpepper said.
Cord said Class of 1970s members made contributions for the tree and a marble marker. The marker will be completed soon, and another ceremony will be held next week to install the marker by the tree. She thanked Farmer Memorial for giving the class a sale price on the marker and Little Mountain Growers for providing the tree at a wholesale price.
Beautification Class teacher James Pilgrim made the tree planting an opportunity to teach his class the proper way to plant a tree. Each member of the class took turns either digging, shoveling, watering or staking the tree so that it will grow and have a long life.
“We hope this tree will be standing tall for years to come,” Cord said.