BLADEN COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) – Dr. Antonia Beatty worked within the Bladen County School system for 28 years until she took her own life earlier this week.
Dozens of friends, teachers, administrators, and students gathered at East Bladen High School Friday afternoon for a prayer vigil to remember Dr. Beatty.
“Dr. Beatty was such a special person,” said EBHS interim principal Linda Johnson-Baldwin.
“Dr. Beatty, she was more than a boss to me, she was my friend,” said Tonya Bunnell-Willis.
Others shared memories and lessons they learned from her over the years.
“She made the right decision in every situation. She didn’t make popular decisions, she didn’t make decisions because someone else was doing that or someone else was saying that, she made decisions that were right for students, for educators, and for staff, So, I challenge each one of you, no matter what the popular crowd is doing, we’ve always got to do the right thing for students,” one person said. “She loved students, she loved educators, and she loved staff. She gave every bit of her being to Bladen County Schools.”
“We’ve got to support our students, we’ve got to support our teachers, we’ve got to support our school administrators, we’ve got to support our school staff. It’s important. Dr. Beatty lived her life doing that and it will continue,” another person said.
People acknowledging the impact Dr. Beatty had on them, no matter how big or how small, saying her shoes would be hard to fill moving forward.
The scshool district released a statement saying: “We are incredibly saddened by the loss of Dr. Antonia Beatty. Dr. Beatty began her career with Bladen County Schools in 1994 as a teacher at Booker T. Washington Primary School. During her tenure with the district, she has held the following positions:
Teacher at Booker T. Washington Primary, Assistant Principal at East Arcadia School, Assistant Principal at West Bladen High School, Interim Principal at West Bladen High School, Principal at West Bladen High School, Upward Bound Director, Title 1/Pre-K Director and Beginning Teacher Coordinator, Human Resources Director, [and] Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources
She has left a great impact on our community, and we continue to pray for her family and our school community.”
“She will be missed, and we loved her very much,” Johnson-Baldwin said.
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