LIBERTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Laughter always filled Tabetha Bivins’ classroom at Liberty Elementary School in Randolph County. Her pre-school teaching assistant Joe Swaim says she loved to get kids to laugh.
“She would say things that you would not normally hear people say, and just to get a smile out of them,” Swaim said. “She loved to read to the kids and the voices she could make as the characters were unbelievable. So yes, she loved the kids. She always called these kids, her kids.”
But in January of this year, tragedy struck the school when Miss Tabetha unexpectedly passed away. In their mourning, her colleagues vowed to find ways to keep her memory alive in the school she loved so much. They started by dedicating the yearbook to her.
Liberty Elementary Principal Kelli Harrel says it includes a page dedicated to her memory along with a special saying.
“One of the things that her team wrote that ‘while her song has ended, the melody plays on,'” said Harrel.
That saying will also be included in a memorial garden on the pre-school playground that the school built to honor her as well. It includes a lot of things that Miss Tabetha loved like flowers, a reading bench and even a special arbor which Harrell says is very exciting for everyone.
“One of the things her mom shared right after she passed was that she really wanted a grape vines out there,” Harrel said. “So we have an arbor, and we have planted grapes that will hopefully grow over the Arbor. And hopefully we can tend the soil to produce those so that the kids can actually eat the grapes right off the vines in our outdoor learning classrooms.”
Because of her love of reading, the staff also constructed a Lending Library at the front of the school. They then had her students fill it with books that everyone can enjoy.
“Ms. Tabitha loved children’s books,” Harrell said. “She loved to read to kids and to have books in her classroom, all kinds of books. So the lending library just came about as a way of honoring her memory. She had friends that wanted to donate to the school and in a way that would support that memory. And so we have our lending library and memory of Ms. Tabitha.”
A living legacy to a life that touched so many parents and students too.