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Richard Carroll Primary honors Bunch

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

Songs, favorite memories, hugs and tears marked the dedication ceremony of a bench and park in honor of the late Bamberg School District One Principal, Ronald Bunch, Friday morning, at the Richard Carroll Primary School.

On a cool brisk December morning that he would have loved and with his family seated on the front row, surrounded by members of the staff and students where he worked as an educator, one by one they came forward and spoke of what the man known as “Mr. Bunch” meant to each one of them.

After a welcome by Richard Carroll Primary School Principal Curtis Williams, who played on the Bamberg High School 1963 State Football Championship team with the man known to most people as “Ronald,” students from the former Ehrhardt Elementary School, where he was a principal for several years, and teacher Lynda Warren read their favorite memories of the man who touched their lives.

Garrett Ulmer and Randy Ulmer read a paper they composed titled, “Mr. Bunch, Our Principal.” In an emotional tribute, RCPS first grade teacher Jamee Barnes spoke of the impact Ronald had on his life. “He made me a better person,” Barnes said. He was very inspirational in my life. Every day that I spend some time on this bench, I will think of him,” Barnes said.

Bamberg School District One Superintendent Phyllis Schwarting, who dedicated the black wrought Iron bench and fence with horses inlaid, said knowing the love Ronald had for horses, she decided to research some of the traits horses had in common with Ronald. Schwarting said some of the traits he had in common with his favorite animal were sensibility. Horses were agile and Ronald, a star on the football field, was agile. Horses are alert and so was Ronald, especially, to the needs of others. Horses have high endurance and Ronald endured a lot in his short life. Finally, horses have unique herding instincts. Those who knew Ronald knew he loved to be around people.

Schwarting said the life of a person could be judged by the impact one has on others. “By the crowd you see today, you can see the impact his life had on others. So, we dedicate this bench to our friend, our colleague, Ronald.”

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