ENFIELD, N.C. (WNCN) — A beloved Halifax County middle school principal has died from complications of COVID-19.
Teicher Patterson, who was the principal at Enfield Middle School, was 50.
“The kids loved him,” said Melissa Battle, a teacher who worked with Patterson at the start of his career.
It’s not hard to find people who knew and loved Patterson.
“He was just a great man. An all-around man… amazing man,” said Darlene Richardson, a parent.
Patterson had been with Halifax County Schools for 28 years. He started as a music teacher and later became an assistant principal.
Most recently, he served as principal of Enfield Middle School, where signs and flowers remembering Patterson now mark the entrance.
Just a few months ago, he was named Halifax County Principal of the Year.
The superintendent, Dr. Eric Cunningham, said the decision was unanimous.
“He kept me out of so much trouble. He went beyond everything to help me,” said Davis Richardson, a student of Patterson’s.
Richardson just graduated from Enfield Middle School.
“If you don’t understand it, he’ll help you. He’ll cut everything else he’s doing, just to come help you,” he said.
“I was shocked and totally saddened,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham told CBS 17 when Patterson started as principal, Enfield had a proficiency rating of 9%, among the lowest in the state. He grew that to 34%.
“It takes a lot of work, it takes a lot of loyalty, it takes a lot of drive, determination and belief that all children matter,” he explained.
Parents said Patterson would go the extra mile. He would open school on Saturday so children had a safe place to go.
“He was the best middle school principal that the school had come across,” said Chrystina Williams, an Enfield Middle School substitute teacher.
He was also a pastor at Shekinah Outreach Ministries in Rocky Mount.
The school district has organized a memorial to honor Patterson, was originally from Hoke County. The memorial will be held on Saturday at Enfield Middle School.
They’ve also started a scholarship fund. Click here for more information.
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