Bench Pays Tribute to Former Student

When you walk into the lobby of the Mexico Elementary School, you may notice a bench in the waiting area. Its back consists of baseball bats on both sides, and the shape of clouds form the top; the craftsmanship of Andrew Butler, husband to first grade teacher Kathy Butler. Its feet are playfully displayed with rubber rain boots and superhero sneakers. The warm colors and subjects you see were painted on by Autumn E. Brown, mother of Emily Alecia Parkhurst.

Emily was born on July 15, 2010.  In September of 2015, she became a student of Mexico Elementary, in Lindsey McCaw’s kindergarten class. However, Emily tragically passed away on May 8, 2016, as a result of asphyxiation from a large piece of food. It was shortly before the end of her school year as an accomplished kindergartner.

Although Emily’s time in school was brief, it does not lessen the lasting impact she has made as a student and friend. She loved her teacher and classmates, as well as others who taught and interacted with her. She was respectful and soft-spoken but loved to be included in fun. Emily was a thoughtful girl, helpful and kind in her actions toward her peers. She was full of perseverance in her learning and had strong sense of determination to do the very best she could, always.

The bench is a tribute to Emily, to keep a vivid memory of her in that school, and one of the many things done as a celebration of the time we were able to have her in our lives.

Emily’s mother, Autumn E. Brown, would like to encourage everyone, if the opportunity is available, to take a First Aid, CPR and/or AED course. She would also like to stress the importance of open understanding, time, patience and most of all love, surrounding a conversation with a child, especially if they inquire about the loss of a loved one or peer.

Emily Bench