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Meadow Lane student drowns on vacation to shore

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 14, 2012 1:46 PM

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Khatin Devine

Just days after school dismissed for the summer, a 10-year-old Meadow Lane Elementary School student drowned while vacationing at a beach in New Jersey.

Khatin Devine of Linen Lane in Goldsboro had traveled to Philadelphia to spend some time with his dad in Philadelphia, said Lance Wilder, the youth's stepfather.

The incident happened late Sunday. Atlantic City media outlets reported strong riptide currents pulled the boy under. A search ensued and at one point was suspended. His body was found Wednesday.

Wilder, who is married to Khatin's mother, Tamika Davis-Wilder, said the family is still making funeral arrangements.

Khatin just completed fourth grade at Meadow Lane. He would have been going to Greenwood Middle School in the fall.

He was described by his principal, Debbie Ogburn, as someone who "just lights up a room" when he walks in.

"He was a very sweet child, a very lovable child, a very good student," she said. "I got an email from the art teacher, Terri Thompson, that he was just her favorite art student. Numerous teachers out here said he was their favorite."

Mrs. Ogburn said her staff has been "in shock" since being notified earlier in the week.

"It's a tragedy," she said. "We found out Tuesday that he went missing. We didn't do anything at that point in time because anything can happen. We got the confirmation yesterday (Wednesday) that he had been found.

"We're going to be contacting the students and parents in that class (today) to let them know, and we'll have some support here as needed."

Even though he was moving over to the middle school in the fall, the loss will still be felt at Meadow Lane, where his principal said he will "always be part of our school family."

"He was in Mrs. (Emily) West's room -- always hugging, just a sweet little boy," she said. "It's just a major loss ... our thoughts and prayers are with the family."

Anyone who wishes to send cards or messages to the family is invited to send them to Meadow Lane and staff will pass them along, Mrs. Ogburn added.