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Memorial honors Highland Home student

Today, many students and teachers at Highland Home are commemorating a somber anniversary – the death of one of their students and friends.

On April 1, 2009, fourth-grader Trotter Crowe died during surgery for scoliosis, but before the end of the school year, HHS and the community came together to dedicate a memorial marker, bench and tree.

Now that spring is here, the poplar tree is beginning to show buds, and Trotter’s mother, Michell Crowe, has a small flag that she changes with the seasons.

Crowe, who is the school nurse for Highland Home, said it was amazing the way the school came together to make the memorial a reality.

“It was pretty overwhelming,” she said.

Trotter was a fourth-grade special needs student, and after he passed away, the other fourth-grade students collected money.

Others followed the fourth-graders’ lead — James May donated the memorial stone and Terra Cotta in Troy donated the tree.

“Several of the boys from the ag department came and helped with the framing, and Mr. Eiland also helped with planting the tree and taking care of it,” Crowe said. “There were just too many people to mention that wanted to help make it pretty.”

One of Trotter’s favorite things to do was ride a Mule around his house and look at the trees, so it was only natural that they plant a tree in his honor.

“One of the kids suggested that we call it ‘Trotter’s tree,’” said Sandra Kilpatrick, a fourth-grade teacher.

Besides his love of trees, another thing he was known for was his smile.

“That’s one of the things that everyone loved about him,” said Kilpatrick. “At the memorial service, we read a poem about smiles, and it was used on his yearbook page.”

His classmates also took an active role in the memorial service and dedication last May.

Jermey May said a prayer and both Haley Ward and Knightlyn Moseley read poems.

Visitors to HHS can find the memorial at the north end of the school, fittingly situated between the fourth-grade and special education classrooms.

“A mother’s worst fear is losing a child, but after it happens, that turns into fear of being forgotten after he’s gone,” Crowe said. “Now he’ll never be forgotten.”