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Former students honor murdered principal

Saturday - 5/19/2012, 4:09pm  ET

runner.jpg
A runner crosses the finish line at Brian K. Betts Foundation for Education Enrichment. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)
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Kathy Stewart, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Students and family of Brian Betts are honoring his memory by motivating his students in a 5k run. Betts was the principal of Shaw Middle School when he was murdered in his Silver Spring home in April 2010.

Betts' sister Jennifer Altomare describes the first annual Brian K. Betts Foundation for Education Enrichment 5K run/walk this way, "It's kind of a celebration of his life."

Hundreds of friends, family, colleagues and former students turned out at West Potomac Park in Southwest Saturday to take part. Altomare says Betts was always all about the kids.

Khadijah Jackson, a former Shaw student, was moved by how many people turned out for the event., "He impacted me a lot. He changed my whole perspective on life. He made me become a better person," Jackson says.

Betts' mother Doris Betts got emotional upon seeing the turnout for the event, "It just makes my heart swells with pride that so many people showed up."

The money raised from the race goes straight into the Betts Foundation for Education Enrichment which will provide grants and scholarships to students and to teachers. So even in death, Betts is still helping educate children.

Betts a leaves a legacy of being a longtime educator who had a gift of getting students to excel even when all odds were against them. His mother says he often told his students "I will not let you be average."

The man who killed Betts has been sentenced to 40 years in jail.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)