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Memorial Scholarship established for OIS Teacher Sherry Buford

A scholarship fund has been established in memory of Sherry Buford, former sixth grade math teacher at Oxford Intermediate School who was killed in car accident in February 2018.

Buford, a Lafayette County native, was a graduate of Lafayette County High School and the University of Mississippi. She taught at the Oxford School District since 2005. Buford and the other passengers in the car were returning from watching her niece, Shaniya Buford, play basketball with Itawamba Community College in Fulton against Northeast Mississippi Community College when Joseph Britt of Plantersville collided with Buford’s vehicle head-on after Britt was driving in the wrong lane.

Britt has since been indicted and charged with three counts of aggravated DUI. If convicted, he could face up to 25 years in prison for each count.

According to Joanne McGehee, one of the organizers of the fund, Buford’s death deeply affected the entire community. Inspired by Buford’s love for her students, the group decided to set a fundraising goal of $25,000.

“Sherry Buford was one of my dearest friends and was one of the first people I met when I began teaching,” McGehee said. “Our group of friends did a little research and couldn’t think of a better way to honor her memory than to create opportunities for the students she cared so deeply for.”

Buford might have taught at Oxford Intermediate School, but she was a Lafayette Commodore through-and-through. Amanda Reiser, who taught with Buford for four years and went to Ole Miss with her, said her fierce loyalty led to the group’s decision to offer scholarships to a deserving senior from both Lafayette and Oxford high schools.

Reiser said Buford was probably the only person who could get away with wearing Commodore red and gold on Charger spirit days, but that didn’t mean she loved her students any less.

“All of her family went to Lafayette, played sports at Lafayette. She bled red and gold,” Reiser said. “To be working in Oxford for all those years, and be so loving towards those kids and her coworkers, she just embodied what our community is all about. It’s truly all one big happy family.”

The group decided to set up a donations page for the scholarship fund, with the hopes it would meet its $25,000 goal and transform into an endowment fund that will continue for years to come.

Nikki Logan, assistant principal at OHS, said the ideal scholarship recipient is someone who possesses the same qualities Buford exhibited throughout her life.

“For the next few years, it would be ideal to allow the recipients to be students she taught or helped in the community through church,” Logan said. “Unfortunately, there will come a time the scholarship will only be her name and the students will not have had the opportunity to have been taught by her. Her legacy will live on by other educators she influenced and there is no doubt each day when we step in the building to educate our youth, we have an extra angel watching of our children.”

To donate to the Sherry Buford Scholarship Fund, visit http://www.oxfordsd.org/bufordscholarship.