"If Mr. Harris were here today, I know he would be very, very pleased," says Vicky Hood.
That's because the new RD Harris Building dedication ceremony was all about Mr. Harris and his great contributions to the educational world. For Meridian High School's Principal, Vicky Hood and other colleagues, his message was clear when it came to education.
"Always, always, your number one agenda should be educating children and being there for them," says Hood.
Mr. RD Harris was well respected by fellow educators throughout the state of Mississippi. Educators from Meridian felt an even closer bond to Mr. Harris. In all, he put in a total of 29 years of work at Meridian High School. Victor Hubbard is the principal of the Meridian 9th Grade Building. He recognizes all of those years of hard work.
"A gentleman who has left a legacy behind through the Meridian Public School District. The students of the Meridian Public School District will remember forever what he has done just by entering this building," says Hubbard.
So for educators and students alike, the new RD Harris Building will be a constant reminder of Harris' commitment to bettering education. His colleagues say the building meets high standards; standards that Harris would have pushed for.
"This is a state of the art facility and we have the best programs in place so that kids can get the very best education. So he would be extremely happy at this point," says Hood.
It wasn't until 2007 that Harris retired from Meridian High. That's when he was placed on the National Kidney Transplant List. He suffered from kidney disease. Harris later passed away in 2009.
This moment to remember the life of Doctor RD Harris was special for educators as well as his family. Harris' wife, Etoria Harris, says his dedication is beyond noteworthy.
"What it means to me, it validates that all of his hard work has come to vision and it was not in vain," says Etoria Harris.