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Hometown Hero | Teacher helps kids in need

(WSAZ)
Published: Nov. 1, 2019 at 10:17 PM EDT
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Everyday teachers do their best to help educate their students, in and outside of the classroom. However, one teacher at Ripley Middle School takes it even further by helping students who are in need.

"I sell lunches to the staff on certain Fridays, they always give a donation, it always does well. We put it in an account and when someone is in need, we pay some of their trip or all of their trip," said Bonnie Harrison, a Special Education teacher at Ripley Middle School.

Every year the eight-grade class takes a trip to Washington D.C., and Bonnie Harrison works all year round to make sure every student can attend.

"We sell fruit, we're selling fruit right now if anyone would like some and we do raffle tickets," Harrison said. "We just do all sorts of things, like sell shirts around Christmas."

She not only helps provide them the opportunity to go on the trip but helps them have clean clothes to take with them, as well.

"I've known Bonnie for 13 years, since I started here at Ripley Middle School and she has been our go-to person for all of our special needs students," said Sherry Farkosh, a teacher at Ripley Middle School. "We teach eighth grade and she has been fundraising for them and helping to send them to D.C since we've been here."

A trip that has been a tradition for the school for the more than 30 years.

"Bonnie is one of those people with a great big heart," said Ripley Middle School teacher Kathy Reynolds. "She saw a need and she found a way to fill that need and she's one of the most selfless people we are fortunate to work with and we can't imagine this place without her."

Bonnie has been fundraising for students in need of finances for the trip since she started at the school in 1995.

"I just want to tell everyone that I work with a wonderful staff and I love all of them and I thank them," Harrison said.

Principal Tim Brown says this is all perfect timing because Bonnie is retiring at the end of the year.

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