Hope Mills students, staff gather to remember teacher killed in - WNCN: News, Weather

Hope Mills students, staff gather to remember teacher killed in accident

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HOPE MILLS, N.C. -

Students and staff at South View High School in Hope Mills gathered around the flag pole to pray and remember one of their teachers Tuesday morning.

William Parnell III died Friday when he crashed into the back of a school bus near Lillington. Parnell was an upper level math teacher who had been on staff at South View for about 12 years said principal Brian Edkins.

“He was a good friend and one of the most brilliant people I've ever met, one of the most humorous,” Edkins said.

Edkins and student Alexandria Morrison said Parnell was brilliantly smart. Nonetheless, he was also personable and approachable they said.

“He helped me to make the decision that no matter how tough things get I can't quit,” Morrison said. “He stayed after school, came before school, did whatever he could to help us out.”

Parnell’s son also shared comments about his father. William Parnell IV said he saw his father on Friday before the car accident. He said his father had given him a PS3 video game system for his 12th birthday, which was Tuesday. So his father did not live to see him turn 12 years old.

“I want people to remember him as a good teacher and a good friend, and for me and my brother a good parent,” the boy said. “He took good care of us. He cared about us and loved us.”

In addition to two sons, Parnell also had a one-year-old daughter.

South View students gathered just a month ago to pray and remember student Danielle Locklear who was a murder victim. Locklear’s 17-year-old ex-boyfriend is charged in her death.

Copyright 2014 WNCN. All rights reserved.

Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

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