Principal's legacy to live on in new school playground

(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

SARDIS, MS (WMC) - A North Mississippi principal's sudden death in April shocked an entire community, but now they're rallying to make her last dream come true.

Lisa Boothe was the principal at Green Hill Elementary School in Sardis. She died after sudden complications from a foot injury. One of her last projects was to renovate the school's playground.

"Once she set her goals on accomplishing something, she tried to make sure that was met," Lisa Boothe's husband, Anderson, said. "I had actually just talked to her about an hour before on the phone. We said, 'I love you,' and the next time I called, the hospital answered - so very unexpected."

After his wife's death, he wanted to finish the project she left behind.

"She loved her babies. That's what she would call her students at Greenhill," Boothe said.

In order to continue the project for the playground, he started a GoFundMe account. That account has already raised more than $2,000 and now North Panola School District is stepping in to help.

"The board has committed approximately $40,000 toward the playground," Superintendent Cedric Richardson said.

The funds raised from the GoFundMe will go toward additional playground equipment. Construction is expected to start in the fall.

Students said they're looking forward to having a part of their inspirational principal still with them.

"We loved her and we needed a new playground," second grade student Hannah Cole said.

"When we took the test I was like, 'I'm doing this for Ms. Boothe,' because she wanted us to be a good school," fifth grade student Alasia Atkins said.

Boothe said he is ready to his wife's vision for the school live on in the community.

"To know in another year when I visit, I can see kids playing out on the playground that she had so much to do with accomplishing, it makes me really happy," Boothe said.

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