IW dedicates Windsor school

Published 12:30 am Saturday, November 1, 2014

By Stephen Cowles

Special to the News-Herald

Georgie D. Tyler, an educator in Isle of Wight County for more than 30 years, was remembered amid the pomp and circumstance of the Windsor school dedicated in her memory recently.

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“Today is a great day, not only because our students and staff have a beautiful, state-of-the-art building that reflects the 21st-century education they are receiving, but also because it is named for someone who is very important to this community,” Isle of Wight School Superintendent Katrise Perera said. “Mrs. Tyler made it her mission to improve the school buildings here in Isle of Wight County, and with the help of the community, she was able to do just that.

“When I reflect upon all that she must have endured during that time to ensure that students had adequate learning environments, I see that some things never change, because as division superintendent, that is also my goal. As I stand here today, I am reminded of Mrs. Tyler’s hard work and the sacrifices that she made. This is truly a full circle moment for Isle of Wight County Schools, and we will continue to carry on her legacy.”

Two of Tyler’s family members were recognized during the program. Jamie Davis McNeil and James Davis III, who are Tyler’s niece and nephew, came from Baltimore for the occasion.

“I learned more about her history,” Davis said. “I knew that she was the superintendent, but I know more since then.”

“I know her spirit is with us,” School Board chair Julia Perkins said, referring to a line from Tyler’s autobiography: “To me, life has been meaningful.”

Delores “Dee Dee” Darden, county board supervisor for Windsor, called the new school both “a jewel and a centerpiece the school division.”

She quoted Benjamin Franklin: “An investment in education always pays the highest returns,” and added: “We’re expecting huge dividends from you, and I know you can achieve them. We’re taking the fire of Mrs. Tyler and passing it on to the new generation.”

Praising the building as “one of the most beautiful schools I’ve ever seen,” Windsor Mayor Carita Richardson said, “The town is extremely proud of having the school in Windsor. Our school system is already known for its excellence, and our youth are our future. The town is committed to partnering with the school system. All you have to do is ask.”

Before introducing a video presentation, Principal Susan Goetz said, “To those who supported the school, this was the right decision for the kids.”

William Hill of Suffolk said he finished at the former Windsor school, which was recently torn down.

Recalling Tyler, he said, “Everyone respected her.”