Newport News Teachers come together to help prepare classroom for teachers in need


NEWPORT NEWS, Va (WAVY) – While you’re busily preparing the kids for school, local teachers are preparing for them.

For some teachers, late renovations at Saunders Elementary School kept them away from their classroom until recently.

Staff at Saunders Elementary School knew they would only have a couple of days to get their classrooms together this year, but once they were faced with it, the task seemed daunting.

The staff over at another busy Newport News elementary school heard of the delays and knew they had to help.

That’s when Katie Satterwhite, assistant principal at R.O. Nelson Elementary, saw a need.

Satterwhite recruited her principal, Dr. Melody Camm, and about 50 other teachers to help get the job done.

“I felt very overwhelmed for those teachers, it was one of those like oh my gosh if I have only two days to put together a classroom, wow I need to call in the Calvary and just get everybody involved in this,”

Katie Satterwhite, Assistant Principle at R.O. Nelson Elementary

Administrators with Newport News Public schools live by “heart work,” and this week they are seeing it in action.

“We can say a lot with words, but when we actually do it and make those words come to life then it has true meaning,”

Dena Boyd, Assistant Principal at Saunders Elementary

You see Saunders Elementary is going through some big changes.

Renovations included an increase in the number of classrooms, library space, and “maker” space, explained Shannon Pipkin, the principle of Saunders Elementary.

All the work meant teachers hadn’t had the chance to get ready for the new year and their open house is just three days away.

Now that R.O Nelson Elementary staff stepped in, the bare rooms and plain walls will have a new face and a new sense of pride.

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