Vernon Stidham honored at COVID Memorial for Alabama School Employees
COVID-19 has touched each of our lives in profound ways. The many losses experienced by our community can’t be understated. On Sunday, one of our beloved community members who we lost to COVID was honored at a memorial. Vernon Stidham’s name and 54 other Alabama school educators and staff who died of COVID were recognized at the event held by Ala. Assoc. of School Boards in Montgomery. “Our school systems have experienced so much unprecedented adversity due to the pandemic – the most difficult of which has been the loss of so many dedicated school employees and leaders, and we felt compelled to recognize that in a meaningful way,” said AASB Executive Director Sally Smith.
Along with acknowledging the lives of those in the Alabama school community who were lost to COVID, a permanent memorial space was dedicated to them “to serve as a tranquil place of reflection.” It includes a bench, oak tree and garden. Smith describes it as a “living memorial.” She said, “We hope this memorial will serve as a poignant tribute to these education heroes who touched so many lives.” The memorial is located on the grounds of the AASB office at the corner of South Jackson and Houston Streets in Montgomery. I would encourage you to visit it and remember the care, attention and kindness Vernon shared with all of us.