Posted: Thursday, August 9th 2012 at 12:00pm
Habersham BOE pauses to reflect on tragedies
By Rob Moore Editor
CLARKESVILLE – The Habersham County Board of Education paused Thursday morning to remember two students who drowned in separate incidents over the past week, and to reflect on others in the system who have been seriously injured.
“In the last week, we have had two deaths and two very serious injuries – most recently yesterday, unfortunately, another serious injury,” Superintendent Matthew Cooper told the board.
“First, the injuries,” Cooper said. “Y’all heard about Nat Mather. His mother [Linda] is a teacher in our school system this year. He was in a terrible car accident a few days ago … he right now has pneumonia, had a really high fever yesterday, and he’s on a ventilator. Anytime you’re on a ventilator, that’s serious. The good news is no head injuries, no neck injuries, and that’s what you always worry about long-term is a neck injury or a head injury. It’s still critical. He’s in Atlanta.”
Cooper then talked about Wednesday afternoon’s bicycle accident north of Clarkesville.
“Then yesterday, one of our middle school students from North Habersham, William Fisher Owensby, had a bicycle accident – just a freak thing, wasn’t wearing a helmet. He took a bad fall, fractured his skull, and has bleeding on the brain. They actually had to life flight him yesterday to [Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at] Egleston. He’s in ICU, but stable condition.”
Cooper also discussed Monday’s death of a 17-year-old Habersham Central High School student at Tallulah Falls Lake, also known as Terrora Lake.
“Jordan Phimmachack, as y’all know, drowned and visitation will be Friday, 3 to 7, at Whitfield South, funeral Saturday at 2,” Cooper said. “Our prayers are with all the students who are going to be there. It’s going to be a tough time for the community as well.”
The other incident Cooper discussed was the Aug. 2 drowning of Habersham County teen Jobe Hart in a watershed lake near Baldwin, inside Banks County.
“Jobe was actually being homeschooled,” Cooper said. “He had withdrawn from our system back in 2010, but was still a part of our community and a lot of our kids knew him. Our prayers continue to be with his family.”
Cooper asked the board to observe a moment of silence, then offered a prayer for the affected families, and for students in the system..
Following the meeting, Cooper said, “We really need to be praying for our community and our students and these families, and lift them up over the coming days.”
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