Poteau High School Remembers Science Teacher Killed In Car Accident

POTEAU (KFSM)- Students and staff at Poteau High School are remembering a teacher who was killed in a car accident Wednesday (Feb. 8) night.

Jerry Carpenter was driving on Highway 270 near Wister when his pickup truck crossed the center line and hit a semi.

Faculty and students are reflecting on the memories they had with Mr. Carpenter.

"He came in on the first day and he was ready to go," Poteau High School principal Raford Ulrich said. "The kids accepted him the first day. [He was] very loved by his students and staff."

"He was very well liked by the kids," Poteau High School math teacher Brenda Hebert said. "He was just very friendly. Everybody liked him."

Students said Mr. Carpenter was jolly, always encouraging his students to learn more.

"One of his famous lines, he would be like, 'I'm not writing this on the board for my health,'" student, Grayson Wise said. "He was great. It's just really hard to think that we will never have that. We will never see him to have another class."

Having been former superintendent of Wister School District for 20 years and a teacher for many years, Carpenter went out of his way to help students.

"He even bought donuts for the classroom," Hebert said. "We all told him to stop doing that, but that was just what he did."

Ulrich said for Carpenter, it was all about the kids.

"His interactions with the kids, very caring and accepting," Ulrich said. "[He] just wanted to do all he could for the kids."

The Poteau High School family will continue to remember Mr. Carpenter for his laugh and his love for teaching.

"We had a lot of laughs during lunch," Hebert said. "I don't know how I'm gonna do. I'm gonna be fine. I have to be for the kids, but he will be missed."

Poteau High School had eight counselors on campus on Thursday (Feb. 9) to help students.

A local pastor also joined students at lunch to pray and sing while remembering Mr. Carpenter.

Jerry Carpenter's funeral will be Saturday (Feb. 11) at 11 a.m. in the Wister High School gymnasium.

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