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Teachers Scrambling to Prepare for School

Teachers Scrambling to Prepare for School

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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Kim Johnson ReportingSam McBride, Spanish Teacher: "It's just a lifetime of work up in smoke. It's just overwhelming."

With only seven weeks until school starts, teachers who lost years worth of material to the fire at Wastach Junior High are now scrambling to get ready. It's an educator's worst nightmare to lose everything in a classroom to fire.

Churchill Jr. High has graciously welcomed Wasatch to their facility come fall. The district has ordered 10 relocatable classrooms to ease congestion, and the principal of Wasatch is working hard at a temporary office, to bring order to the chaos left by fire.

Doug Bingham, Principal: "My secretaries and I worked really hard. We had everything done. This was going to be the nice relaxing summer. That changed."

And eight days after fire devastated his beloved school, Doug Bingham says he can't see an end to the 14 hour days. Besides ordering new textbooks, supplies equipment, compiling a new master schedule, Bingham and his staff are trying to keep parents, students and teachers abreast of contingency plans.

Doug Bingham, Prinicipal, Wasatch Junior High: "Today I met with teachers and I had to let some of them know that they would never be able to go back into their classrooms; they're not going to have that opportunity because the damage to the building was so excessive it's not safe."

For veteran teachers like Sam McBride that news was devastating. McBride has taught Spanish at Wasatch for 31 years.

Sam McBride, Spanish teacher: "I thought I'd be able to go in and at least be able to recall some of the personal loss I have, as well as inventory all the things. It's just a lifetime of work up in smoke. It's just overwhelming."

McBride says the generosity of others has also overwhelmed him.

Sam McBride: "I'm seeing a lady tomorrow from Rowland Hall St. Marks Middle School who called the day after the fire. She offered everything in the way of her files and I'm seeing her tomorrow."

McBride's colleague, Robert Lindsay who chairs the social studies department had just redone all his history files for the coming school year. He's now using Granite district computers to start over. Lesson plans, he says can be rewritten, new textbooks and equipment ordered. What hurts, is what cannot be replaced.

Robert Lindsay: "The souvenirs, the yearbooks that I had and kept. The kids, you know, would write little things in them. They'd always sign my yearbooks, and that I am really going to miss."

Lindsay had original newspapers from the World War two era, national geographic magazines from the early 1900's, some real treasures that can't be replaced.

On a side note, Dick Hunsaker, the coach at Utah Valley Community College is going to host a fire relief basketball camp August 10th, 11th, and 12th for kids ages six to 15. It will be a fundraiser to help out with the cost of replacing sports equipment, and uniforms at Wasatch.

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