Cobb County

Teachers, classmates vow to ‘live like Walker’ following 10-year old’s tragic death

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A community is remembering a 10-year-old tragically killed in a house fire as someone who had a servant’s heart.

Walker Phillips was a fourth grader at North Cobb Christian School in Acworth.

“I’m a firm believer that no one is too little to make a big difference,” said lower school principal Wendy Titus. “They (classmates) look to him as a leader. Not just a leader but a servant leader. They want to follow in his footsteps.”

An early morning fire destroyed the Phillips’ family home in Cartersville last Friday. Cartersville Fire Chief Scott Carter told Channel 2′s Chris Jose the cause remains under investigation. The state fire marshal’s office is assisting, said Carter.

Walker’s parents are former University of Georgia athletes Courtney and Cory Phillips. They were on a ski trip last week, school officials said.

Walker’s grandmother and two older siblings escaped unharmed, firefighters said.

“We have this hope in Christ and we can stay strong. We know God is carrying us through all of this,” said teacher Julie Bare.

Bare had Walker in her 4th grade class.


“Walker was a pleasure to teach,” said Bare. “Our hearts just break for them (the family) and go out to them, because we love them.”

North Cobb Christian School students started a memorial on campus.

Classmates left notes and dropped off flowers, balloons, and pictures. On a campus rock, they left a message that says, “Live like Walker.”

“I guarantee that rock won’t be touched for a long time because of what it’ll mean to the community,” said head of school Todd Clingman. “It’s in the time of crisis, that your faith is really tested. This isn’t just a couple of days thing for us. We’ll be with this family for weeks, months and years.”

Clingman told Jose he’s in touch with the Phillips family. As of Monday afternoon, funeral arrangements had not been announced.

“If he wasn’t in the classroom. He had a ball in his hand. He was a coach’s dream come true,” said coach Greg Matta. “I was looking forward to this year. He was going to be the QB for the 5th and 6th grade team.”

Matta said Walker excelled in every sport, including football, basketball, and baseball.

“Over the last two years, I’ve been training and working with him. I was really looking forward to this year. It was going to be a special year,” said Matta. “He will live in me forever. His legacy will never leave me. I will always have him in my heart.”