November 2021 Heroes of Hope

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Published On: November 19th, 2021

Melissa White and Amber Gardner
Stonehouse Elementary School

I am a third-grade teacher at Stonehouse and have the privilege of working with Melissa White (Principal) and Amber Gardner (Assistant Principal). My 16-year-old daughter was a passenger in a head-on collision returning home from taking her SATs on October 2. She suffered major injuries and was hospitalized in Newport News for 10 days before taking a medical flight to Atlanta, Georgia to be treated at the Shepherd Center.

I wanted to share with you how wonderful both Melissa and Amber have been to my daughter and me. They have checked in on both of us numerous times. Within days of the accident, they purchased an unbelievable amount of needed items for her hospital and rehabilitation stay, as well as food gift cards for me to use during my stay in Atlanta. Their generosity has been incredible!

Additionally, Melissa led the effort to raise nearly $30,000 to help with my daughter’s medical, rehab, and home modification expenses. She also reached out to Central Office on my behalf to arrange the appropriate leave and worked to get my long-term substitute.

I know that WJCC Schools has a goal of building relationships. Melissa and Amber have been the epitome of this for me and a model for the division. They have both gone above and beyond in helping me in so many ways and allowing me to focus on my daughter’s needs. I am grateful to work in such an amazing school with them! I wish I could present both of them with some type of award, but I felt the least I could do was to let you know how much they have done without any reward or recognition. I will be forever grateful to them. They are truly heroes!

Toni Turner
Laurel Lane Elementary School

Toni always puts the children of Bright Beginnings first. Her devotion to WJCC Schools has never let up in the past seven years. Sometimes Toni uses her own money to purchase needed items such as diapers, wipes, and office /cleaning supplies. This woman would do this job for free because of the joy she gets from her babies every day at work. She always treats them as her own and always puts them first. A golden soul resides in this woman, and I have enjoyed that glow for 25+ years! We need more TAs like Toni Turner.

Amanda Miller
Jamestown High School

Amanda always takes care of her athletes. She tapes ankles and wrists, administers treatment, massages cramps and so on. Amanda is always where athletes need her most and provides service with a smile. She advocates for every athlete and has their best interest in mind. Thank you, Amanda!

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