An Ocean Springs teacher died early Wednesday morning in a two-vehicle wreck on I-10 in Jackson County, WXXV-TV reports.
Mississippi Highway Patrol reports that Kennon Barton, 41, of Ocean Springs was traveling westbound on I-10 about 12:50 a.m. when he was hit by a semi-truck driven by David Poppe, 58, of Homosassa, Florida.
Barton was pronounced dead at the scene.
Barton taught English at Ocean Springs High School. He also taught at MGCCC in Jackson County.
In May, he was was named a Keesler Federal Credit Union’s Impact Educator Award winner and received a $2,500 check.
“So proud of my son, Kennon. He loves teaching, loves his students and it shows,” his father, State Rep. Manly Barton, posted on Facebook after the award.
Kennon Barton was a musician and also performed live music with Party at the Moontower, Gravity Tractor, and KB and the Time Machine, according to his LinkedIn profile.
His students are posting their memories on Facebook, calling Barton their favorite teacher and a best friend.
“The world lost one of the best today,” one person wrote.
Ocean Springs School District released a statement mourning the loss of the educator.
Ocean Springs School District is saddened to learn of the passing of beloved OSHS teacher, Mr. Kennon Barton.
Words do not do justice to what Mr. Barton meant to his coworkers and our students. He was truly kind and genuinely cared for every individual that walked our halls. pic.twitter.com/k25kMaL5x8
— Ocean Springs School District (@OSSDGreyhounds) June 7, 2023
“Ocean Springs School District is saddened to learn of the passing of beloved OSHS teacher, Mr. Kennon Barton,” the statement read.
“Words do not do justice to what Mr. Barton meant to his coworkers and our students. He was truly kind and genuinely cared for every individual that walked our halls. We want to pass along our condolences to the Barton family and all of the many staff members and students that Mr. Barton made such a significant impact on.
“We will all miss Mr. Barton more than words can express. He was not just our co-worker but our good friend as well.”