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Students, community raise $21,000 for beloved teacher needing new wheelchair

Students, staff, community members come together and raise $21,000 for 3rd Grade Teacher Tami...
Students, staff, community members come together and raise $21,000 for 3rd Grade Teacher Tami Herriage's new wheelchair.(Springlake-Earth ISD)
Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 3:23 PM CST
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SPRINGLAKE-EARTH, Texas (KCBD) - A Springlake-Earth teacher will not have to worry about replacing or upgrading her wheelchair for at least the next two decades thanks to an idea sparked by the Gifted and Talented students at her school, with overwhelming support from the community.

Tami Herriage is a 3rd grade Reading and Math teacher at Springlake-Earth. She has been a teacher at the school for 14 years. She also grew up in the community and graduated high school there.

In 1996, she was in a tragic car accident that paralyzed her from the waist down, according to the Springlake-Earth High School news website.

Tami Herriage is the 3rd grade math and reading teacher at Springlake-Earth.
Tami Herriage is the 3rd grade math and reading teacher at Springlake-Earth.(Springlake-Earth ISD)

Earlier this school year, the Gifted and Talented students in grades 4-7 heard Mrs. Herriage talking about needing a new wheelchair. The GT students wanted to hold a fundraiser for her, so they told their GT teacher, who then recruited other staff members and the principal. Soon, a committee was created and the “Walk ‘n Roll fundraiser marathon” for Mrs. Herriage was official.

The elementary and junior high students took pledges from community members, along with family and extended family. The pledges determined how many laps the students would have to walk, while some community members made flat donations. The effort involved the entire school, both Springlake and Earth communities, and beyond.

In November, all students in first through seventh grade participated in the walk.

When it was over, and the funds were totaled, Springlake-Earth Jr. High and Elementary Principal Bub McIver said he was shocked at the amount of money raised for Mrs. Herriage.

They were able to raise $21,000.

“We believe it is extremely important to build a sense of community here at Springlake-Earth Elementary/Junior High for our students,” Principal McIver said. “We want to instill in our students that when there is a need in our community, we come together to fulfill that need. When a community comes together and fulfills that need, it is truly a beautiful thing.”

The Springlake-Earth Wolverine family presented the check to Mrs. Herriage on Wednesday.

She told Mr. McIver and other staff members she will be able to upgrade the wheelchair she was looking at with better wheels and shocks. The money left over will go into a savings account so when this new wheelchair wears out in 10 or 12 years, she will be able to purchase another one.

“I LOVE Springlake-Earth,” Herriage said in the teacher spotlight on the Springlake-Earth High School news website. “And am so happy to get to teach where I grew up.”

Students were given certificates of participation in the Walk 'n Roll marathon fundraiser.
Students were given certificates of participation in the Walk 'n Roll marathon fundraiser.(Springlake-Earth ISD)

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