Community Elementary music teacher passes away

Monday, January 4, 2021

When Community Elementary students and staff return to class Tuesday, following Christmas break, the hours will likely be marked with sadness, due to the loss of the school’s beloved music teacher, Andrew Dale Briggs, over the holiday break.

The local educator passed away Saturday at Stonecrest Medical Center in Smyrna. He was 57.

“Mr. Briggs has been a constant at Community Elementary for many years,” staff posted on the CES Facebook page Monday. “He has touched countless lives and instilled a love of music in so many children throughout those years. His passion for music, along with his sense of humor, has inspired students-many of whom still carry those memories of his class with them long after they have graduated and moved on into their adult lives. Please remember our faculty, staff and especially the students as we try to transition to a new normal without him.”

The Facebook page also said it will be unusual now for students to walk into the music classroom and not hear his familiar rhyme, “Don’t skip any chairs. Don’t kick any bears.”

Diane Neeley, Bedford County Board of Education chair, said Monday, “On behalf of the board I would like to offer our sincerest condolences to Mr. Briggs' family, school family and friends. While I didn’t know Mr. Briggs personally, I have heard nothing but good things about him and his talent as a music teacher.  His passing certainly leaves a void at Community Elementary.  I am sure he will be dearly missed by his students and colleagues.”

Funeral services for the music teacher will be held on 1 p.m. Wednesday from the chapel of Gowen-Smith on Union Street.