(Story by WRCB) – When students from Rhea County High School return from fall break on Monday, they will be mourning the loss of three familiar faces. Three staff members have died this week.
On Monday, 61-year-old Michael Yarber of the school’s special programs department died suddenly. Mr. Yarber lived in Crossville. The Athens native previously taught in Knox and Sevier County schools. Friends and students describe him as a kind and patient man, who served as a mentor and positive role model. Visitation will be tomorrow (Saturday) from 1 to 3 p.m. at Hood Funeral Home in Crossville.
Also, Rhea County mourns the loss of Terry Goins, who served as an attendance director at the high school and also assisted with the football program. He was also a sportswriter for the local newspaper for 45 years. The man known as “TG” never met a stranger and was also well known as a musician. He had recently battled leukemia. The funeral service will be Sunday at 3 p.m. at New Union Baptist Church. Terry Goins was 70.
A third staff member, Charles Benton passed away Thursday. Coach Benton was a career exploration teacher. He graduated from Rhea in 1983, and was a defensive back and punt returner for the Tennessee Vols. he was a Vol for life, attending a game as recently as last week. Students remember him for his caring, his hugs, athleticism, and his friendly nature. Funeral services have not yet been announced.
Rhea County superintendent Jerry Levengood says the high school will have additional counselors on Monday and will try to proceed as normal as possible.