Ellwood senior dies days before graduation
Published 9:17 pm Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Ellwood Christian Academy is mourning the loss of a senior student less than one month before graduation.
According to principal Gary Crum Sr., Denetria Pryor passed away Tuesday morning from what he said was sudden illness. Pryor was the daughter of Charles L. Pryor.
“She was an excellent student who was quiet and always had a smile on her face with a cheerful attitude,” Crum said. “It was a shock to us because we are such a small school and have a small graduating class. So, our counselors and ministers were available.”
While in high school, Pryor was a member of the Spanish Club and Ellwood’s pep squad.
Crum said Pryor had received a scholarship to Concordia College Alabama and had plans on pursuing a career in business.
“It was a very somber day when we found out we had lost Denetria. We consider each other family here,” Crum said.
Crum said he will strive to make sure that every student or employee at the school is given as much time as they need to grieve. Guidance from counselors and ministers will be ongoing.
“One benefit that our program does have is that I am a pastor, and we have several other ministers who are also on staff along with our counseling department,” Crum said.
Pryor was one of 40 graduating seniors set to receive diplomas May 26. A memorial service is now being planned. Crum said Pryor would be honored at commencement too.
Pryor’s funeral arrangements were pending Wednesday.
“We are a Christian school that doesn’t shy away from scripture and what the word says about life. I will keep encouraging our student body to be mindful that life can be brief, and it’s something we have no control of,” Crum said.