CMS, family honor former teacher

Published 1:33 pm Monday, December 12, 2016

The Stamps family stands by the memorial to Gerald W. Stamps. (Joyanna Love/Advertiser)

By JOYANNA LOVE/Senior Staff Writer

CLANTON — Clanton Middle School has erected a memorial to honor a beloved teacher Gerald W. Stamps.

Stamps was a special education teacher from 1997 to 2015 when he died from cancer.

Since then, his family has been working with principal Carla White to set up a memorial at the school.

Amy Stamps, Gerald’s wife, said it had been almost a two-year process.

“It just took a while to get the masonry and everything scheduled,” Amy Stamps said.

Debbie Traywick, Gerald Stamps’ oldest sister, initially contacted the school about having a memorial.

“I wanted to honor my brother in this way and give his students a place to honor him,” Traywick said.

The school was on board with the project, and the Chilton County Board of Education said the style of the memorial needed to match one already erected on the other side of the school.

“This is what he loved doing. This was his life he loved working with the special ed kids,” Amy Stamps said.

Gerald Stamps had overcome physical disabilities in order to teach.

“He was born with a limp, so he always wanted to help other kids,” sister Lisa Shaw said.

A commemorative plaque sets at the front of the brick memorial that surrounds a Blood good Japanese maple. The brick was donated by the Chilton county BOE and Clanton Middle School. Stanley Adams and Giles Landscaping and Lawn Care constructed the memorial. The tree came from Blackwell Nursery. Martin Funeral homes provided the plaque. The plaque reads, “In memory of Gerald W. Stamps special education teacher 1997-2015 Joshua 1:8.” Traywick said Joshua 1:8, which reads, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful (NIV),” was her brother’s favorite Bible verse.

“He enjoyed teaching here a lot. He talked about the students all the time and how much of a joy they were to him, and I know this would mean a lot to him,” Stamps’ son Jeremy said.

The family has also established a scholarship fund in Stamps name. The scholarship will be awarded to a Chilton County High School special needs students to attend a college, university or career technical school. Application requirements include a 2.0 GPA, two letters of recommendation and an essay written by the student outlining his or her career goals.

The deadline for application is March 15.

Applications can be mailed to Pam Elmore at 572 County Road 174, Jemison, AL 35085 or emailed to