Memorial rock at Providence Christian School honors the late William Martin

Providence Christian School’s founding principal has been honored for his efforts in getting the school up and running.

A memorial rock honors the late William Martin, 52, who died last Oct. 1 of cancer. Student council members raised money to have the rock engraved and placed under the flagpole at the school on East Yosemite Avenue in Merced.

Jennifer Tripp, a teacher and student council liaison, said construction of the school began in summer 2012 and finished in 52 days.

The efforts of Martin and his wife, Pam, were instrumental in establishing Providence. The task of building the school and having it ready for students by August 2012 required the Martins to work several 16-hour days with no weekends off, Tripp said.

Four months after the school opened, Martin was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. He underwent surgery to remove the tumor knowing that the cancer would return. He died eight months after his diagnosis.

During an unveiling ceremony this month, student council members spoke of their memories of Martin.

Maci Tucker, student council secretary, said Martin always had a smile on his face and was kind and thoughtful of others.

Nicole Wood, student council vice president, spoke of the details and dedication it took to build a school. “He often referred to the book of Nehemiah and trusting God and His provisions.”

Morgan McCary, student council president, said that throughout his battle with cancer and treatments Martin was always positive.

Sixth-grade representatives Tanner Torell and Jackson De Jager unveiled the memorial rock and presented Pam Martin with a bouquet of flowers.

Providence Christian School serves more than 200 students from preschool through eighth grade.