CHARLOTTE, Mich. — In a matter of three weeks, the community has donated close to $70,000 for the Marsha Waymire Fund which will help teachers and students at Washington Elementary School over the next few years.
The fund was started by Dave and Emma Waymire to honor Marsha Waymire, who was a first-grade teacher at Washington Elementary School for nearly 20 years and who died unexpectedly last year.
“She was very dedicated to the children there and to the school," said Dave Waymire, Marsha's husband. "And as part of that dedication, she tried to do all she could to make sure that those children had every advantage that they could have."
That often meant reaching into her pocket and buying school supplies, even coats and hats
Marsha passed away in October a few months after she retired. Her daughter Emma said Marsha’s doctor thinks her heart stopped beating in her sleep.
“We were devastated by her loss. And we really wanted to find a way to remember her and to carry on her legacy," Emma said. "And she was this incredibly passionate teacher and put so much of who she was into her work with children at Washington Elementary.”
Emma said her mom would spend hours in the classroom and there were days where she wouldn’t come home until 9 p.m.
“She would just be lesson planning for the next day. She would stay after to make sure that the kids were all set for the week," Emma said. "And that anything that needed to be done was done and ready to go.”
There are 20 classrooms at Washington Elementary and the fund will provide each teacher with $500 at the beginning of the school year to spend on school supplies.
“It’s the kind of thing that really makes a difference in a child’s life. It makes a difference in a teacher's life. I mean some of these teachers are very new teachers," Dave Waymire said. "They really don’t make a lot of money and to reach into their pocket is really a hardship for them. They do the best they can and now hopefully they won’t have to reach into their pocket.”
Cindy Cook worked with Marsha Waymire for 17 years and was one of her good friends. Cook said Marsha was a passionate teacher and had kids over her house even after she retired, teaching them how to knit and letting them swim in the pool.
“Marsha and I talked a lot about that. About how as a teacher you had to reach into your pocket because you wanted to make sure every need was met," Cook said. "Because your job was to teach those kids. So, if you had to reach into your pocket, you just did it."
The first $10,0000 has already been donated this school year. The goal is to continue donating money to teachers for at least ten years.
“If we can raise more money the longer the better. I mean It’s not like these needs are going to go away I don’t think," Dave Waymire said. "And it also helps keep Marsha’s legacy alive. She taught there for 17 years. She made a difference in hundreds of children’s lives. I still hear from parents on the streets sometimes that talk about how she was able to help them. So, keeping that legacy alive is great.”
If you’re interested in donating to the fund, click here.
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