East Side Elementary comes out to serve former principal

As spring/summer is in full force in Carter County, many residents are prepping to renovate their flower and/or vegetable gardens for the season. For many, however, the amount of physical exertion necessary prevents them from getting as much done as they would like. Members of the community, however, have got them covered.

Students from East Side Elementary came to former principal Josh Wandell’s home Wednesday morning to work on flower beds around his property as a service project.

Teachers April Richmond and April Pearson said they do service projects throughout the year as part of their K Kids program, and this time, they wanted to give back to the former principal.

“A lot of these kids had Wandell as a principal,” Richmond said. “We wanted to do something for him in return.”

The fourth and fifth-grade students arrived at the neighborhood in a city school bus and immediately went to work, bringing with them dozens of bags of mulch.

They said the students loved Wandell, and they wanted to help him with his gardens since he cannot go out to tend them himself.

Wandell received an ALS diagnosis around 2013, and he has used his condition to spread his “faith over fear” message in many areas of the community.

Wandell has said in the past he uses ALS as a platform for God’s message to other people, and Pearson said this mentality has shaped the students he has interacted with over the years.

“He is a mindset-changer,” Pearson said.

The K Kids program is affiliated with the Kiwanis Club, which is involved in schools through various organizations such as Key Clubs in high schools. They said Wandell was instrumental in bringing K Kids, the elementary school version, to East Side.

“There would not be K Kids without Wandell,” Pearson said.

The teachers said they also used the service project as an opportunity to learn about teamwork and how to not give up on a goal because of its difficulty.

“He has given so much to this community,” Richmond said. “We appreciate all he has done.”

They said students Wednesday learned the value of hard work, as well as learning they can do anything if they put their mind to it, no matter how tough the task may seem.

Local news

UETHDA announces commodity distributions for June

Arrests

Johnson City Police arrest man on drug and DUI charges

BREAKING NEWS

Second arrest made in murder investigation after man’s remains found in buried freezer

Community

Fish and Chicken Feast June 1 at Boozy Creek

Local news

Hampton man still sought on murder, other charges in connection with body unearthed in freezer

Local news

Elizabethton dedicates first mural despite heavy downpour

Local news

Elizabethton Water Resources lifts boil water notice after line break 

Community

Senior Center Schedule

Community

Buster Barnett celebrates 89th birthday on June 3

Local news

Two former HVHS graduates complete prestigious state-wide leadership program

Community

Isaac Whitehead Family plans reunion June 1

Local news

Legendary coach Rider remembered at groundbreaking for $3.75 million fieldhouse

Local news

Nutrition program guides teens to healthier future

Local news

ETSU helping vets turn visions into ventures

Church News

Church Briefs

BREAKING NEWS

NWS Issues Hazardous Weather Outlook for East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and Southwest North Carolina

Community

Whitehead Cemetery Assoc. plans Memorial Day Gathering

Church News

Why did Jesus say, ‘Don’t cast your pearls before swine?’

Local news

The Drop Collaborative partners with Unaka High School for Award-Winning SAE Program

Local news

Price & Ramey Insurance announces Aaron Hammons as new President/CEO

Local news

Annual Elizabethton Memorial Day Ceremony scheduled for Monday, May 27

Local news

Gov. Lee makes pitch to bring Super Bowl to new Titans stadium, NFL commissioner plays coy

Local news

National Trails Day celebrated June 1 in area state parks

Arrests

Johnson City Police arrest Blountville man on aggravated assault, vandalism charges