FORT SMITH (KFSM)- A beloved assistant principal at Kimmons Junior High passed away over the weekend.
On Monday (June 29) students, faculty and family gathered at the school to share their memories of Michael Norwood.
I`m gonna miss his happiness and his joy for everything that he did,” Brittni Campbell, student said. “It was absolutely amazing.”
On Sunday (June 28) Norwood lost his fight to an aggressive form of cancer at the age of 62.
“Mike Norwood was our assistant principal and a good friend of mine for 19 years,” Principal David James Watkins said. “We go back to coaching together in Van Buren, and I had the opportunity to work with him the last five years as he was assistant principal in the building.”
He said not many people knew Norwood was ill.
“He was a very private person when it came to his medical history,” Watkins said.
“We just found out yesterday that he had cancer,” Alie Barter, student said. “He`s never told anybody.”
“He was a great person, so I guess not knowing that made things a little harder,” Campbell said.
Norwood was also called “Papa” by many kids.
“We felt with the popularity of Mr. Norwood in our building and the knowledge he had of our student body that we wanted to give them an opportunity to work through the grieving process,” Watkins said.
“Papa Norwood was pretty much my papa,” Barter said. “It`s sad that he`s gone.”
Students will hold a balloon release on the Kimmons track at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday (June 30) in memory of Mr. Norwood.