Tyler ISD maintenance department creates special bench in memory of Dixie Elementary School student

May 30, 2018


It’s no secret that the hard-working Tyler ISD maintenance department keeps District facilities in top shape so that students can learn in productive and safe environments. What some may not know, however, is how their love for Tyler ISD students and staff reaches far beyond campus buildings.


Earlier in the school year, Dixie kindergarten student Sa’riyah Merrick passed away due to illness. Her teacher, Ms. Hinojosa, wanted to do something in her memory that represented her joy, contagious smile and bubbly personality. Planting a Magnolia tree in Sa’riyah’s memory would do just that, and give her classmates and friends something beautiful on campus to remember her by.


“We contacted the maintenance department to help us locate the perfect location for Sa’riyah’s tree,” Joanne Saul, principal at Dixie, said. “Not only did they help us determine the best location, but they decided right then to build a bench for students to sit on while enjoying the tree.”


Using donated saw-cut lumber from main craftsman DeeWayne Thompson, the maintenance workers created a beautifully crafted bench. The campus provided a special name plate that was also installed onto the bench.  


“The Tyler ISD maintenance department employees are very dedicated to our students and in addition to all of the daily duties, enjoy using their talents and skills for special projects that give back to Tyler ISD,” Robert Grant, Tyler ISD maintenance supervisor, said. “As always, I am continually pleased with the quality of work and dedication that my department exhibits.”




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Tyler ISD Communications

Jennifer Hines

Executive Director of Communications and Public Relations

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Sandra Stanley Communications Coordinator

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Amy Pawlak 

Public Relations Coordinator

Lynne Hubbard

Switchboard Operator

Marla Boone

Communications/ Volunteer Assistant

Angela Duitch

Coordinator of TISD-TV & Digital Media

Jessica Poe

Digital Communications Specialist

Jacob Walker

Digital Media and Video Specialist

John Landes

Coordinator of Government Relations

Tracy Varnell

District Mail Clerk

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