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Students, teachers remember educator killed in wreck

Posted September 12, 2008

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— A moment of silence was held before Friday night's football game at Terry Sanford High School to honor a former assistant principal killed in a wreck with another school employee this week.

Kenneth Earl Hancock Jr., an assistant principal at Reid Ross Classical School, was killed when the motorcycle he was riding hit a truck driven by Sandra Autry Wrench, a secretary at Stedman Elementary School.

Wrench, who lived within a couple miles of Hancock and had known him for years, was unable to avoid the collision after the motorcycle swerved into her lane on Bainbridge Road, authorities said.

Hancock used to be a farmer, raising turf grass around his country home in Stedman. Then he plowed a new career path five years ago as an educator.

"He just felt like he was making a difference every day he was in front of the students, whether it was as a principal or a teacher or just as a friend," said his son, Jonathan Hancock.

The elder Hancock started as a teacher at Reid Ross, then spent two years at Cape Fear High School. He was an assistant principal at Terry Sanford High before returning to Reid Ross this summer.

"In the classroom, Ken would just reach every level of child," said Deborah King, a teacher at Cape Fear High.

When he left the school, he left a shoe in Heather Kurtz' classroom as a memento of his time there.

"He said, 'I don't want you to forget me – the teachers at Cape Fear High – but I don't want the kids to forget me,'" Kurtz said.

Students and faculty at Terry Sanford High didn't forget Hancock. A sign outside the school Friday said, "Our prayers are with the Hancock family."

Wrench suffered minor injuries in the wreck.

"She is also a friend of a lot of ours, and so our prayers are with Sandra and her family, too," King said.


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