Education

Man who died left savings to Harrison County schools. It’s the largest donation in history.

Gulfport teacher gets a helping hand with classroom expenses

Help A Teacher is a new organization that helps connect teachers from around the country with those that would like to help with school room expenses. Donors are then able to purchase items from the wishlist that go directly to the teacher.
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Help A Teacher is a new organization that helps connect teachers from around the country with those that would like to help with school room expenses. Donors are then able to purchase items from the wishlist that go directly to the teacher.

A donation of more than $600,000 from resident Darrell Saucier surprised officials with the Harrison County School District, who said it is the largest donation in the district’s 63-year history.

“I’m just absolutely floored and amazed,” Superintendent Roy Gill told the Sun Herald. He said the check for $642,885 has already been deposited in a separate district account and will be tracked so the public can see how the money is spent.

As for the district’s plans for the gift, there is no shortage of needs, Gill said.

“We really haven’t had the time to really nail things down,” Gill said. “ When people tell you something (like this), you say, ‘That can’t be real.’ ”

Saucier passed away in April. He was 84 and had no immediate family. He is survived by nieces and nephews, according to a Chancery Court probate file.

The donation to the schools did not have to go through probate because Saucier listed the district on his savings account.

“This large donation shows that Mr. Saucier loved the children of this district, and wanted to support their education,” Gill said in a separate news release sent out by the district.

“We have been blessed by Mr. Saucier’s generosity, and we cannot thank him enough for wanting to invest in our students’ future.

“Our hearts and prayers are with Mr. Saucier’s family. We pledge to honor Mr. Saucier’s wishes to use his donation to benefit the children of this community.”

Trang Pham-Bui, public relations specialist for the district, told the Sun Herald that the district does not yet know much about Saucier or the family.

Gill said: “I’ve been frantically trying to find out more about him. I found out who his momma and daddy were, but that’s about it.”

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