Paying it forward with brotherly love

Published 12:06 am Wednesday, September 21, 2011

An “early Christmas gift” arrived at Beaufort County Schools’ Central Services office from friends in Cumberland County – all to benefit BCS students, especially those affected by Hurricane Irene.

Ron Phipps, Cumberland County Schools’ assistant superintendent of evaluation and testing, escorted a truck loaded with school supplies to Washington on Tuesday morning. According to Phipps, it was a prime opportunity for Cumberland County Schools to return acts of kindness shown its students when a tornado struck one of its schools.

Kirsten Jones and her students at Eastern Elementary School pack materials into book bags for distribution. (Submitted Photo/BCS)

“Five months ago, a tornado completely destroyed Ben Martin Elementary School in our county,” he explained. “There was an outpouring of support that came, and we were glad to pass that same support along.”

The school system, 88 schools strong, collected items for a two-week period. Phipps and the Cumberland County Schools would have been glad to share the donations with any county affected by the recent hurricane, but Beaufort County was a natural fit. This allowed him to assist the students under the charge of his twin brother, Don Phipps, superintendent of Beaufort County Schools.

“Knowing Don was here and what this area had faced, it just seemed right,” Ron Phipps said.

BCS’s Phipps, along with the entire school system, are appreciative recipients.

“It is a neat connection, not just through education,” Don Phipps said. “It does not surprise me at all, and it would certainly work the opposite way if ever needed.”

CCS’s donations will be distributed to students in need through BCS’s Student Services office, which will be working directly with each BCS school.