Sophi's Gift

As many of you know, the Marfa ISD family has lost a friend and amazing teacher named Sophia Sullivan to a horrible tragedy on March 16th, 2018. The communities of Fort Davis and Marfa, who were fortunate enough to know her, are mourning the loss of this beautiful lady. Her family is dealing with the unimaginable void that this senseless death has created.

I was so lucky to share a friendship with her for the last two years, and to have the opportunity of teaching her son in my Montessori Class this year.  Those that knew Sophi, know how much her seven year old son meant to her. She spoke of him to everyone she met and had taken the job in Marfa in order to give him the opportunity to attend the Montessori program that is provided there.

In order to protect this young man I can not name him or show you a picture of his beautiful face, but I can share with you all my observations as his teacher.  Sophi's second grade son could have conversations about the inner workings of black holes and could recognize every species of dinosaur ever discovered. He could name all the countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa with perfect pronunciation. This boy’s latest interest is in World War II airplanes, which he reads and talks about with an intellect that would shock those that listened. His mind is a wonder!

Sophi’s son is safe, but has undergone things that most people will never and should never endure.  Due to the nature of his mother’s demise, he and his family are dealing with emotions and legalities that they couldn't possibly be prepared for, much less ready to handle without extra support.

As his teacher and her friend, and with the help of all the friends, teachers, students and family members that she left behind -- and there is an army of us -- I would like to start this fund for Sophi’s son and in her honor.  A fund that would be entrusted to the future educational needs of this child. A living scholarship that grows with every year and is held in trust for him. A gift from Sophi to her son. The gift of education. A gift she held dear and inspired daily in her students.  An open door to his future and such a help to those who will be caring for him.

An anonymous donor has already promised to make a one time match when the fund reaches 1,000 dollars. Let us all light a match in the darkness that has been left behind by the senseless death of this daughter, wife, teacher, friend and mother whom we loved.


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Eliza Hollaway-Barton 
Fort Davis, TX
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