Plaque honors Wooster High School student
The Daily Record - 4/23/2019
WOOSTER — Wooster High School is honoring the memory of a beloved student with a plaque dedicated to her.
A special ceremony was held, exactly one year after her death, for Kylie Brooke Kandel, 15, of Wooster, who died March 29, 2018. The ceremony for Kylie featured a release of doves and the placement of a plaque.
Kylie, who was born with a rare chromosomal disorder, faced many resulting health challenges and died “after a short illness,” her mother, Kate Hamilton, said.
Intervention specialists Holly Pope and Robert Williams’ classes at the high school “wanted to help with a memorial to keep the memory of Kylie alive,” said principal Tyler Keener.
“She was a light to all she came in contact with, and her classmates were very close,” Keener said. “It was really moving to hear all the memories her classmates had of Kylie.”
“Kylie was very special to our class,” Pope said. “We always talk about being a team, and she was a very loved and missed part of our team.
“We wanted to keep Kylie’s spirit alive by sharing memories,” she said. “Each one of her classmates shared — albeit in their own way, whether it was reading a memory, using a communication device to tell a message or writing a letter.
“We thought the doves being released were symbolic of sending happy memories and messages and lifting up loved ones in our thoughts and memories,” Pope said.
“I felt so blessed by Wooster High School and staff for showing remembrance of Kylie,” Hamilton said.
“They invited our family,” said Kylie’s father, Corey Kandel. He and children Kearstyn, a student at Edgewood Middle School; and Cayden and Colby, students at Melrose Elementary School, to the dove release, Hamilton said.
“Students read memories they had written (about Kylie),” she said.
“Mrs. Pope, Mr. Williams and support staff have continued to bless us in many ways this past year,” Hamilton added. “Melrose Elementary staff and (Principal) Mrs. (Kaylee) Harrell have also been a continued support.
“I am grateful for Wooster Grace (Church) and the Ashland/?Wooster communities for their ongoing communication and support,” Hamilton said.
Working through Kylie’s difficult health issues “changes how you look at life,” Hamilton said in 2014 while serving as principal of Kean Elementary School. It helped her to treasure “everyone’s uniqueness.”
“Everybody has a gift; you hone in on those strengths and appreciate them,” she said.
“Small celebrations” of Kylie’s achievements were valued, Hamilton said then, calling Kylie “a fighter,” who throughout her life had “defied all odds.”
“She has a huge heart (and) she loves people,” Hamilton said in 2014. In return, she was loved by others.
Reporter Linda Hall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-264-1125, Ext. 2230. She is @lindahallTDR on Twitter.
CREDIT: LINDA HALL