Two Yadkin students dead in unrelated incidents

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Forbush students gather for a memorial on Saturday for fellow classmate Norah Smitherman who was killed in a shooting on Thursday.

The Yadkin community continues to mourn the loss of not one, but two students who passed away in unrelated incidents.

“It was a difficult week last week. We lost two of our students, a fifth grade student at Courtney Elementary and a senior at Forbush High School. These loses have greatly impacted so many students, teachers, administrators, staff members, and families who knew and loved these students,” said Yadkin Schools Superintendent Dr. Todd Martin.

Courtney Elementary student Madison Styers died on Nov. 1 following a vehicle crash. A small memorial service for Madison at Courtney Elementary was scheduled for Wednesday at 2 p.m. where students were expected to plant a tree in her honor.

Forbush Senior Norah Smitherman was killed in a shooting incident on Thursday which authorities are still investigating.

Around 3:30 p.m. on Friday the Yadkin County Sheriff’s Office issued a press release regarding the death though few details have yet been released. The release stated that “on Nov. 4, shortly after 8 p.m. the Yadkin County Sheriff’s Office received a call in reference to a shooting located at a residence on Gospel Way Church Rd. in Yadkinville. Deputies arrived on the scene to find a 17-year old juvenile female with a gunshot wound. Yadkin County EMS arrived on the scene and pronounced the juvenile deceased. The investigation is currently ongoing. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is assisting the Yadkin County Sheriff’s Office.”

Martin said there have been various tributes to honor the life of Norah Smitherman. The home football playoff game, scheduled for this past Friday, was moved to Saturday evening. Prior to the game, there was a memorial service and a balloon release in her honor. Many attendees wore purple clothing and purple ribbons. Many of the balloons were purple because purple was her favorite color. There was also a memorial service in the football stadium Sunday night and hundreds of students, community members and school personnel were in attendance, Martin said.

Martin went on to describe Norah as ” a wonderful student with a tremendous work ethic.”

“Norah took academics seriously and was a junior marshal, a member of the National Honor Society and the Beta Club. She was a straight A student. Norah was also a member of HOSA and the Forbush High School Student Council.

“Norah was very involved in her school and community. She volunteered with Impact Yadkin and with Collide Church, where she worked with Collide Kids, the Collide Student Group, and Guest Services. Norah especially loved working with the children at her church.

“More than that, she was a friend to so many, a wonderful person who was kind to all she met. Many students and teachers have spoken to how kind she was to everyone.

“This has deeply and profoundly impacted so many and there have been various tributes to honor Norah and all she meant to everyone who knew her. We are saddened by this tragic loss and we hold the Smitherman family, Norah’s friends, and all who knew Norah close in our hearts,” Martin said.

Authorities have not yet released the name of the shooter or any charges. Additional details will be posted at ElkinTribune.com as they become available.

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