JASPER, Ala. (WIAT) — Students and neighbors in Jasper are mourning the loss of a longtime high school assistant principal who was killed in a car wreck Wednesday evening.
Tommy Lynn Hobson, 55, died after a crash in Arkansas. Hobson had been an administrator in Jasper for about two decades.
“He was the heart and soul of Walker High School,” said Superintendent Ann Jackson
Jackson wiped tears from her eyes as she talked about receiving the news about Hobson’s death. The tragedy struck while students and staff are on spring break.
“He was a good man and a good friend and a good mentor,” Jackson said.
Hobson leaves behind a wife and a daughter. Jackson is not only grieving for family members but the lives Hobson touched at the school
“Mr. Hobson made a difference in many of our students’ lives and we all loved him, we all respected him, he was an institution at Walker High School,” Jackson said.
Walker High School recently changed its name and location. The school became Jasper High School, and it now sits just up the street from the old building.
Throughout all the changes, Hobson remained assistant principal, a position colleagues say he was passionate about because of his love for students.
“The kids knew him, you could go anywhere in Jasper and bring his name up and everybody knows him,” said Danny Gambrell, Jasper City Councilman.
Gambrell is now on Jasper’s City Council, but he spent years with Hobson as the principal at the old Walker High School.
Despite many being out of town during the break, several heard the news through social media.
“You always hope that no bad things over the holidays when the kids are out and going different places, so this was a shock,” Gambrell said.
Counselors will be on campus when teens return to class next week without a familiar and beloved face in the hallway.
“I’m going to miss the genuine heartfelt concern that he felt for our students,” Jackson said.
According to the Arkansas State Police, Hobson’s vehicle ran off the roadway and struck a tree along U.S. Highway 165 in Pulaski County Wednesday evening.
There were no other passengers in the car. The wreck remains under investigation.