Moment of silence planned for Greenbrier student who died

Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2009 5:49 PM
Last updated 6:39 PM
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While celebrating the conclusion of Homecoming Week on Friday, Greenbrier High students also intend to remember one of their classmates who was found dead Monday evening.

Scott Gillen  Special
Special
Scott Gillen

The school will hold a moment of silence for Scott Gillen prior to its 7:30 p.m. game against Union Grove High School.

The 17-year-old Greenbrier High senior was found by his father, Kevin Gillen, sometime after 10 p.m. at the school lying face down on the running track, Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins said Tuesday.

Officials said the teen was at the track to earn a fitness badge and attain status as an Eagle Scout.

“Anytime a young man is involved in an organization like the Scouts, and is working toward an Eagle Scout badge, that in and of itself is indicative of the kind of young man he was,” Greenbrier Principal Margie Hamilton said today. “Here, the perspective on him from faculty was very positive. The teachers were devastated when they heard about it.”

Counselors remained at the ready today for students close to Scott and his family who were in need of counseling.

For some students, Scott’s death re-awakened feelings of grief associated with the death of Greenbrier football player Chris Smith, who drowned during a July outing at Thurmond Lake, Dr. Hamilton said.

“This is tough on our senior class,” she said. “They’ve had some hard hits.”

The school’s band continues to leave an empty space in its formation in honor of Haley Van Pelt, who suffered serious injuries during a July car wreck. Haley was moved this month to Atlanta-based Shepherd Center from Medical College of Georgia Hospital, according to www.caringbridge.org.

Though Scott died on the school’s running track, Dr. Hamilton said she intends to keep the track accessible to the public.

“If he hadn’t been running on the track, he would have been running on the trail,” she said. “I haven’t thought about that. I’ve had requests from the community to allow access to the track. ... Anytime we can make exercise convenient for people we will.”

Funeral services for Scott will held at 3 p.m. Thursday at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on North Belair Road in Evans. Scott’s family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. today at Platt’s Funeral Home, 337 N. Belair Road., Evans.


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