Area schools, some of which have endured their own tragediesin recent years, showed their support for Guyer High School on Tuesday bywearing blue in memory of Nathan Maki, a high school senior and startingfullback killed in a weekend shooting near Bowie.
About 100 people at Argyle High School posed for a photo inblue shirts Tuesday that was posted on the Guyer High School Wildcats Facebookpage along with photos from several other area schools.
Jeff Butts, principal at Argyle High School, said the schoolknows all too well what it’s like to lose a student or fellow classmate,whether to an accident or illness, and they’re standing with Guyer to showsupport.
In 2010, Argyle Middle School mourned the death ofeighth-grader Autumn Caudle and her mother, Kandace Hull, after they died in adrunken driving accident. Weeks prior to that, the school mourned the death ofa classmate’s parent and a teacher’s husband.
In 2012, the Argyle community mourned the death of13-year-old Alex Betzhold, who died unexpectedly at home.
“Our school district preaches that we value kids and, in myopinion, I think all kids are important,” Butts said. “It doesn’t matter wherethey go to school. ... When something happens to a kid ... we want to valuethat kid’s life. We want to show our support because somewhere there’s a schooland a family that’s hurting and we want to show our honor and support for thatkid’s life.”
About 60 to 70 students at Lake Dallas High School showedsupport by wearing blue on Tuesday, said Cory Hailey, associate principal. Hesaid the students at Lake Dallas High are sincere about what goes on in theircommunity and, with Guyer High being so close, it’s “like one big family.”
Lake Dallas endured its own tragedies in 2011 when a17-year-old and a 14-year-old both committed suicide and a middle schoolstudent reportedly attempted suicide.
“They saw someone hurting,” Hailey said. “They wanted to dotheir part and show their support in any way they can.”
Area schools including Marcus High School in Flower Mound,Lewisville High School and its Killough campus, Northwest, Byron Nelson,Argyle, Lake Dallas, Coppell, Denton and Ryan high schools all did something toshow support for Guyer on Tuesday, according to district officials.
In a statement Tuesday, Guyer High Principal Barbara Fischersaid the school was overwhelmed with the show of support.
“We were overwhelmed with the show of solidarity and supportfor Nathan Maki from, not only our Denton ISD high schools, but our peersacross the Dallas-Fort Worth area,” her statement read. “When tragedy strikes,it’s hard to cope. ... But knowing that our friends in other school districtsstood with us helped the entire Guyer family get through this tough and emotionalday. The healing process will take time, so we ask everyone to continue tosupport the Maki family and our students as they endure through the pain thistragedy has caused.”
The mood at Guyer on Tuesday was subdued, said Mario Zavala,a district spokesman. Counselors, some of which were called in from othercampuses, were made available to speak with students and staff in “safe rooms.”
“It was an emotional day. It wasn’t easy by any means,”Zavala said. “As we go on and try to return to a routine of normalcy, that willhelp the students.”
Denton ISD released information Tuesday that funeralservices for Maki will take place at 11 a.m. Thursday at Cross TimbersCommunity Church, 1119 U.S. Highway 377 in Argyle.
Zavala said Maki’s memory will be recognized in pregamefestivities Thursday at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex.
Forms were sent home Tuesday for students wanting to attendMaki’s funeral service on Thursday.
“We sent home a form with students basically asking parentsto notify us if they’ll attend the funeral service,” Zavala said. “All[students] have to do is return the form and their absence is excused.”
He added the district is working to get substitutes to fillin for teachers also wanting to attend Thursday’s funeral services.
“We want to give everybody an outlet to show the Maki familytheir support and be there for them and also to celebrate Nate, his life andthe impact he had at Guyer,” he said.
According to the Guyer Wildcat football webpage, condolenceletters can be sent to: Guyer High School, c/o John Walsh, 7501 Teasley Lane,Denton, TX 76210.
Donations can be made at any Northstar Bank branch tosupport the Maki family. Checks should be made out to “FBO Nate Maki.”
It was also mentioned on the football team’s webpage thatT-shirts in memory of Maki will go on sale at Thursday night’s game, with allproceeds going to Maki’s family.
Flowers can be sent to DeBerry Funeral Home, 2025 W.University Drive, Denton, TX 76201, according to information posted on theGuyer Wildcats football webpage.
BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.