Missing classmates felt as Greenbrier High returns

Monday, Aug 10, 2009 10:51 AM
Last updated Friday, Jan. 8, 2010 3:04 PM
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As Greenbrier High School students streamed into the Evans school for the first day of classes this morning, two seniors were missing.

Chris Smith, of Evans, drowned July 18 while swimming in Thurmond Lake. The 17-year-old was expected to start for the Wolfpack football team and is missed by his teammates.

“Especially at football practice,” said junior Beau Allen, 16, describing his former teammate as always upbeat. “You know he’s not there.”

Haley Van Pelt spent what should have been the first day of her senior year at Medical College of Georgia Hospital, where she is in serious condition.

Senior Nikki Koulianos, 17, said is was strange to go about her daily routines and attend the first day of school without the fellow member of the Greenbrier marching band.

“It has definitely affected like a lot of our senior class,” Nikki said.

Haley, 17, also of Evans, wrecked her car on Hardy McManus Road on July 22. After running off the road while on her way to band camp, the clarinet player overslammed her Saturn into a large pine tree, police said.

Band director Michael Katterjohn said that the last part of band camp was tough after hearing of the wreck but that her bandmates kept Haley on their minds.

“As long as we keep the kids up on her progress, what is happening with her, they are doing OK with that,” Mr. Katterjohn said.

At a recent rehearsal, the musicians took a photo of the band, blew it up to poster size and sent it the hospital for Haley. Like her church and classmates, band members have supported her family by providing meals and raising money for her treatment.

Mr. Katterjohn said he hopes she will be able to perform with the band before the season is over.

“We leaving her spot open,” Mr. Katterjohn said of the clarinet section leader. “We’re praying she comes back.”

Freshman Sara Pasma, 14, said she feels strange doing normal activities such as attending the first day of school while her marching bandmate recovering in the hospital.

“My sister is one of her best friends, and knowing the fact that she doesn’t have her here today at school, I feel kind of bad,” Sara said.

Reach Valerie Rowell at (706) 868-1222, ext. 110, or valerie.rowell@augustachronicle.com.

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Spotted: Greenbrier High Back to School

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Comments (7) Add comment
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coolette
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coolette 08/10/09 - 10:10 am
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Greenbrier parents share the

Greenbrier parents share the sadness! We will continue to pray for these families!

truthbknown
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truthbknown 08/10/09 - 12:00 pm
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Cross Creek High School has

Cross Creek High School has also lost several kids over the last few years. Its hard, especially them being so young. I'm praying for these kids and thier families, cause we know what there going through. God Bless... RIP to all those we have lost....

juliebac
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juliebac 08/10/09 - 12:16 pm
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God bless.

God bless.

bone
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bone 08/10/09 - 05:42 pm
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While I am praying for Haley

While I am praying for Haley and her family, I just have to ask: Good heavens - who is editing these articles? I absolutely don't blame Valerie Rowell, either: she should expect some measure of assistance from her editing staff. I might join Riverman1's grammar police.

Bryt
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Bryt 08/10/09 - 07:28 pm
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Tell those kids to hang in

Tell those kids to hang in there. When I was at Evans we lost five students and a teacher before graduation - the summer of graduation we lost two more students. It's very hard to come back to class and see those empty desks - it's hard when you put the yearbook together and someone is in the back of the book on the memorial page. All you can do is think of the positive, pray, love the best you can, and drive carefully!

Son of God
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Son of God 08/11/09 - 05:52 am
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God bless the students (all

God bless the students (all of them)and their families. and friends. We love you very much. my focus is not on the editing of the articles but rather the points getting across and the sick being healed. We all are subject to mistakes whether it is in editing or real life.

GaMedic
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GaMedic 08/12/09 - 12:38 am
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My daughter is in Haley's

My daughter is in Haley's section and we are so proud of "Haley's Herd" and ALL the band members for rallying around Haley and her folks. The Van Pelt's are very involved in band booster activities and have been sorely missed. We hear so much about the bad things young people do but these kids have really stood in the gap for this family. Kudos!!

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