A school community came together Monday evening to celebrate the life of an influential teacher.
Edwin Dean was both a teacher and assistant principal at Middle College High School for 10 years.
Dean touched and changed a lot of lives during that time. On Monday there was a moving tribute to say thank you and goodbye.
At sunset, students, former students and faculty lit candles and said a prayer for a man who left a lasting impression on so many lives.
Dean was an imposing figure, both physically and academically.
"He had the means for communicating. He had what we called 'The Look,'" said Joyce Maddox, a teacher at Middle College High School. "He knew how to take some of the kids who had fallen down and he could literally kick-butt and pick them back up again."
Middle College High School is no ordinary school. It's part of the Williamson County school system. Students are high ability and at risk for drop out, the perfect teaching environment for Dean.
"Mr. Dean would always say when I got worked up or in a fight with somebody, he would always put his hand on my shoulder and say 'You don't have to do anything you don't want to do,'" said one of the students at the remembrance on the Middle College High School campus.
Dean turned hundred of students' lives around when parents and others could not, something these kids won't forget.
Monday was their toughest assignment, saying goodbye to a mentor.
"No matter what Mr. Dean and I had ever talked about, we ended every conversation with 'I love you.' He always made me feel loved. He always made me feel important and like I meant something in his life. That made me feel like I was really worth it," said another student.
Dean died Wednesday from kidney failure. Dean had been placed on the kidney transplant list two weeks ago and that a kidney could be weeks away.
A funeral mass for Dean will be held at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Nashville on Tuesday at 5 p.m.
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