WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — When you're a school principal, you can touch a lot of people's lives. Houston County's longest serving principal, Edward Dyson, did just that.
From now on April 29th, 2023 will be known as Edward Dyson Appreciation day in Warner Robins! Many of his former students, colleagues, and loved ones celebrated his life and career at the South Side Baptist Church.
"A teacher who knew all of his student's names by the second day of school," said Susan Murchinson about Dyson.
Edward Dyson began teaching in 1964 at a school in Perry, but would spend the rest of his career at North Side High school.
"He was first a teacher, then an assistant principal and then a principal,” Murchison said.
She’s just one of dozens of folks who have come to celebrate Dyson.
Murchinson has known him for 50 years. First as a student and then a fellow teacher.
“He was never too busy to help and always stayed involved with us as a family,” she said.
Murchinson says Dyson was a supportive and kind leader who impacted her life.
"When our oldest child was a first grader, he had a very difficult morning on the second day of school, and I came into the building crying,” Murchinson said.
She says Dyson saw her and told her to go to his office to calm down, and he would watch her class.
Later, when she returned to teach, Dyson went to her son's school to check on him for her.
“To go out of his way to check on our son and ease some of my anxiety, I will remember that forever,” Murchinson said.
Judy Moore is one of the event organizers.
"He has done so much for so many people,” she said. "I hope that it brings a lot of good memories to Mr. Dyson about how much we love him!”
Moore says Dyson saved her from the lowest point in her life when she was let go from another school.
“I did not think that I was going to be able to teach ever again,” she said.
However, Dyson wanted her to teach again.
“Mr. Dyson said, ‘Everybody deserves a second chance.’ That meant the world to me,” Moore said.
“Sometimes one moment in a person's life impacts it forever and he was that kind of leader and I'll never forget him for that,” says Murchinson.
Dyson says he's been sick lately and didn't think he'd be able to make it to the celebration.
“I've been out of the hospital for about three days. To see so many of them after so long, it's really exciting.”
Dyson says he feels happy.
“I just want to thank everybody who took the time to show up."
The Northside High drumline performed as well as an all-alumni choir.
Mayor LaRhonda Patrick officially proclaimed Saturday as "Ed Dyson Appreciation Day."