The Central Virginian

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Louisa school moving forward from recovery to rebuilding

Posted on Friday, November 2, 2012 at 9:21 am

Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management joined state, local and school officials at the groundbreaking for the new Thomas Jefferson Elementary School on Thursday, Oct. 25. Disaster agency officials who helped turn the first golden shovels full of dirt included Dennis Mullins (l to r), FEMA’s Joint Field Office Chief of Staff; Nealia Dabney, VDEM’s Public Assistance Program Manager; Scott Hudson, VDEM’s Region 2 Coordinator; and Ray Stout, FEMA’s Infrastructure Branch Director.

The building started as the Louisa Training School, before being named A.G. Richardson High School then Zelda C. Morton Elementary, Louisa Intermediate School and Louisa Middle School, before finally becoming Thomas Jefferson Elementary School (TJES). For 58 years, the building serviced students, teachers and staff until the earthquake in August 2011.

On Oct. 25 teachers, faculty, administration, parents and other supporters of Thomas Jefferson Elementary School (TJES) gathered for the groundbreaking ceremony for the new TJES, which will be modeled after Moss-Nuckols Elementary School.

Thrilled teachers and staff gathered around the plans for the new school, locating their classroom or office facility.

“It’s very exciting. It’s a long time coming,” Lisa Harris, reading resource, said.

“It’s exciting and there is light at the end of the tunnel. I can see the light,” Tina Lesser, in-school suspension said.

Dr. Deborah Pettit, Louisa County Public Schools superintendent, began the ceremony by thanking the many people involved in supporting Louisa County Public Schools and helping them find their way through the unprecedented experience.

Pettit gave credit to the teachers, faculty and administration of TJES for their “super human effort” that required them to move TJES into pods, then into Trevilians Elementary school, before moving into the modular units they use today, without interruption and never missing a beat.

A note of thanks was given to Trevilians Elementary school staff for the continuing sharing of their facilities unselfishly with TJES.

To read the entire story, see the Nov. 1 edition of The Central Virginian.