The ritual of reading the names of the dead is a familiar one in Baltimore. Sometimes it’s the names of murder victims. Other times it’s domestic violence victims or transgender people or people in the armed services or people without homes who passed their last moments on the street.
At the monthly meetings of the the city school board, the names of students who have died are remembered, along with school employees who also have passed.
It comes early in the agenda. Typically, school board chairman Neil E. Duke reads the names aloud and then asks for a moment of silence. That’s what he did at Tuesday’s meeting and City School CEO Andrés Alonso remarked that it was one of the longest such recitations he recalled hearing since coming to Baltimore.
We obtained the list and thought to share it with Brew readers:
• Ahmad Wheatley a six-year-old 1st grade student at the William S. Baer School, passed away on October 11, 2012 following a long-term illness. Though he was young in years, Ahmad will always be forever remembered and greatly missed by his Baer School Family and all who knew and loved him.
• Tashawna Jones was an 18-year-old 11th grade student at the Achievement Academy at Harbor City HS who decided to recommit herself to graduating this school year. Tashawna had given up a job recently to completely focus on her career goals and aspirations, which included her high school diploma. Tashawna was enrolled in the Career Research Development CTE Program with a career interest in Healthcare.
• Ahjee Harrod was a 9th grade student at No. 367 Baltimore Community School. She wanted to be an actress. She was well-liked, well-rounded and was a sweet girl, and her family was nothing but supportive of her.
• Tykia Maria Manly was a 2nd grader in Ms. Surkovich’s class at Moravia Park Elementary School. Her favorite subject was math. She enjoyed spending time with her best friends, Kiyeah and Jalaya.
• Derryl Kenneth Stewart 3rd was a student in Mrs. Kendalls’ pre-kindergarten class at Moravia Park Elementary School. He was a playful child who enjoyed attending pre-k and acclimated quite well to the school environment. His favorite toys were cars, especially Hot Wheels.
• Amari was 11 years old and in the sixth grade. She was a light in our building and loved being in school. She enjoyed interacting with our promethean boards and attending therapy sessions. She loved to hum along with music and engage with people. She was a wonderful addition to our school and will be missed by all the teachers, staff and therapists who worked with her.
• Darius Tayborn was a 12th-grade 19-year-old student at Achievement Academy at Harbor City HS who transitioned from the Baltimore CORPS Program. Darius would have completed his high school graduation requirements at the end of this semester (January 2013).
Richard Brown Jr. began work on August 29, 1994 as a special education teacher at Harlem Park Middle School. In 2006, he transitioned to Baltimore Talent Development High School to enhance the school’s special education offerings and worked as a special education teacher at this school until his passing on October 7, 2012. Mr. Brown’s 18 years of service highlight his dedication to city schools students and his longstanding commitment to strengthening special education courses.