The legacy of Debra Collins Rion continues to live on at Daisy Elementary School thanks to contributions made in her memory.
Rion and Mark Carter King were found dead in their home on Scenic Drive in Loris Sept. 14. According to the Horry County Coroner’s Office, they died from carbon monoxide emitted from a generator they were using during Hurricane Florence.
Rion was a retired educator who taught at Daisy Elementary School. She retired as a child development teacher in 2014. Before that she was a kindergarten teacher.
After Rion’s death, her son -- Justin King -- wanted to do something for the school in her honor so he set up a GoFundMe account to raise funds to help teachers purchase needed classroom supplies.
“In lieu of flowers, the family of Debbie Rion and Mark King ask that memorial contributions be given to a Teacher Supply Fund at Daisy Elementary, where Debbie was a teacher for 36 years,” the page states.
King was hoping to raise $4,000 but donors helped him exceed that amount.
Last week, King and his wife, Ashley, presented the school with a check for $5,000.
“We also used this as a way to reminisce about momma. She would go above and beyond,” King said. “We wanted to give back a little bit.”
Principal Michelle Dunsford said the money will be equally divided amongst the teachers.
Brenda Stevens, an office manager of the school, said it is appropriate the money is being used to purchase school supplies because when Rion was a teacher, she was the person others went to when they were looking for things for their classroom,
“We called her room Walmart because if anybody needed anything, she had it. I don’t care if it was a mixer, an iron, some little red squares, she had it in her room,” Stevens said.
Fran Waldorf, the school’s instructional coach, said she spent a lot of time in Rion’s classroom.
“Every time you walked into her room, you wanted to be one of her students. You wanted to be 4-years-old again. You were so mesmerized. She could engage the children. She loved them. The children responded to her like you would not believe,” Waldorf said.
Also in honor of Rion -- who loved to dress up in costumes anytme she got the chance -- Thursday was “character day” at the school where students got to dress up and participate in a parade through the school.