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

Live in Edmonds? Hate speeders?

Edmonds has $35,000 to address local residents’ concerns about speeding in their… Continue reading

Herald photos of the week

A weekly collection of The Herald’s top images by staff photographers and… Continue reading

Marysville quits fire-department merger talks

Mayor Jon Nehring notified Arlington of the decision in a letter dated Jan. 10.

Everett man accused of causing his baby’s brain damage

He told police he shook his son to get him to stop crying, and the boy slipped out of his hands.

Everett marchers: ‘There’s too much to protest’ for one sign

About 150 people joined the “March to Impeach” from the waterfront to a county courthouse rally.

Legislation to limit opioid prescriptions under debate

Inslee also has requested a bill that prioritizes medication-assisted treatment for addiction.

Sirens! Flashing lights! — Move over!

We are a confident bunch on what to do when we hear… Continue reading

Judge: Lawmakers’ emails, texts subject to public disclosure

News organizations had sued to challenge the Legislature’s claim that members were exempt.

Residents are helping turn Casino Road in a new direction

An initiative backed by a $700,000 grant goes to the community for solutions to the area’s challenges.

Most Read