Snohomish principal helps build Dominican school

SNOHOMISH — In early December, Riverview Elementary School Principal Tammy Jones spent 10 days in the Dominican Republic.

She wasn’t there to enjoy sunny fun on the beach.

She was there to help build an elementary school.

Jones was one of 50 school administrators and teachers who went to the town of Constanza from Dec. 3 to 13. The trip was organized by Lifetouch, a national company that takes school and church pictures.

“It was incredible. There aren’t many words to describe it,” Jones said.

Jones said her group had to drive 4½ hours to get to the school. She saw people living in cars and cardboard houses, but they smiled and made friends with the volunteers.

Jones was selected in a drawing she entered through the National Association of Elementary School Principals in April. She considers herself lucky because she was picked on the first try. She says she’s heard of people waiting for years to be selected.

Lifetouch has been organizing these projects since 2000. All other schools built have been in Haiti. This is the first school being built in the Dominican Republic, corporate vice president Kelvin Miller said. Last year, volunteers built the first floor. This year, they added a second story to the school.

About 300 students are expected to attend the school, he said.

The organization took pictures of the volunteers and they also transmitted webcam conversations between the volunteers and their students back home.

“It was a cross-cultural experience,” Miller said.

Since it was a remote area, the volunteers had to use rudimentary tools to get the work done.

Jones had to mix concrete and mortar using a shovel. Since there was no running water, the volunteers had to carry water in buckets and with pulleys, she said.

Besides helping build the school, Jones brought with her $2,800 in school and medical supplies collected by her students and former students.

Jones said she would do it again if possible.

“All of us came back changed. I received a lot more than what I gave,” she said.

Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; adominguez@heraldnet.com.

More in Local News

Bicycle tour raises money for dialysis patients

Volunteers also shared health information and put together care packages for homeless women.

Elderly couple escape serious injuries in crash with train

The driver drove down tracks instead of a road, hitting a slow-moving train near Stanwood.

Boeing reaches out to schools

Company employees helped Everett students at recent reading and Manufacturing Day events.

5-vehicle collision sends school bus into ditch; no injuries

No students were hurt when a school bus crashed into… Continue reading

Fire crew returns early from wildfires in Northern California

Four Everett firefighters returned from battling California wildfires late Thursday… Continue reading

Theft lands former insurance salesman 50 days in jail

A former insurance salesman is expected to report to jail… Continue reading

Pair of intrepid musicians climb N. Cascades summits to play

Rose Freeman and Anastasia Allison pack their instruments up mountains for high-altitude recitals.

Everett mayoral campaign is one of the priciest ever

Many campaign donors are giving to both Cassie Franklin and Judy Tuohy.

Herald columnist Julie Muhlstein (left) and Elizabeth Reed, of Snohomish, share something humorous during an interview at Reed’s Snohomish High School Class of 1942 reunion in September 2016. Muhlstein is marking 20 years as a columnist, with about 3,000 of them published in The Herald. Counting her early days as a reporter and editor, she has been with The Herald for 36 years. (Dan Bates / Herald file)
3,000 stories in 20 years: Here are some of my favorites

As a Daily Herald columnist, I’ve met remarkable people and learned much since 1997.

Most Read