North Augusta Middle School mourns English teacher’s passing

North Augusta Middle School families are mourning the passing of a longtime teacher there.
Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 9:25 AM EST
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NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - North Augusta Middle School families and community are mourning the passing of a longtime teacher there.

For more than 25 years, Latimer Blount served the school as an English teacher and during many seasons also coached the football team.

When you ask people what their favorite class is, most of the time English isn’t at the top of their list, but students we talked to say at this school, it often is. Not but because they love diagramming sentences, but because of who Mr. Blount was as a person.

“Whenever they say you always have that one teacher he was that one teacher for me. He was one of like my first ever favorite teachers,” Sara Ramage, a former student, says.

Students were shocked to hear the news of their unforgettable teacher.

“Yeah, it hit me hard,” Ramage says. But the memories will stick with his students forever.

Audrey Champy, a former student, says, “He wasn’t a teacher that would like to sit at his desk. He would always walk around the room and get you engaged. So he always had a sweat rag on him. This sweat rag is one thing I don’t think any of us will ever forget.”

A teacher so involved, he broke a sweat just teaching English. He even gave nicknames to every one of his students

“I’m little bridges,” Champy says.

“No matter what he always remembered everybody’s nicknames. I don’t know how but he did,” Ramage shares.

Looking at old pictures, Champy has a photo that just means more.

Champy shares, “I love his smile in that picture. That picture is still on my Facebook. I will cherish that picture forever.”

Now moving forward his family of former students will miss him forever.

“He never had kids and he always told all his students. You know, I never had kids. But at the end of the day, all my students were my kids. And he loved us like we were his kids,” Ramage says.

The students shared that there are big shoes to fill now but follow in his footsteps, and North Augusta middle school is in good hands moving forward.

“It is difficult to think about North Augusta Middle without Mr. Blount’s laugh, smile and kindness,” the school said in a message to parents this week.

“We will persevere through this challenging time just as Mr. Blount would have wanted with positivity while remembering and honoring the impact he had on each of our lives,” the message said.

Counselors will remain available to support students, teachers, and staff throughout the coming days. Also, several grief support resources have been placed on the school’s website, including a document developed by the American Counselors Association titled “Helping Children Cope with Loss,” as well as the link to the National Grief Center for Children & Families for additional guidance and support.

“Please keep Mr. Blount’s family and extended family at NAMS in your thoughts,” the school’s message said.