NEW MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Cleanup efforts are continuing at New Milford High School where a fire devastated part of the building. This week, the school’s start date was delayed to September 6.
One teacher says her classroom experienced some of the worst damage. That teacher has now set up a fundraiser to try to recoup some of the supplies that were lost.
“I cried. I cried for days. It’s my room. I spent so much time in that room,” said Marnie Taylor.
Taylor is a science teacher at New Milford High School. She described what it was like seeing images of the damage done to her beloved classroom after a quick-moving fire destroyed part of the building on July 5.
“It becomes part of who you are. Your classroom becomes a reflection of who you are and how you teach,” Taylor said.
As many teachers do, Taylor says she’s spent thousands of dollars over the last six years out of pocket to buy supplies for her students.
“I never minded putting that money into my career. Many people put their own money into their own careers and I’m not complaining about that at all. It was just devastating to know that I had to start all over again,” Taylor said.
For safety reasons, Taylor and other staff can’t go back into the building or see their classrooms. She doesn’t know what’s salvageable yet, or if there’s anything usable.
“I understand that they can’t even give us answers yet. There’s nothing that can be done yet,” Taylor said.
After hearing her story, some friends encouraged Taylor to start a GoFundMe page. She was hesitant at first but wanted to help others as well.
“This shouldn’t just be about me. There are other teachers who have lost stuff as well and maybe there’s a way we can come up with some funds to at least alleviate some of the financial burdens we’re going to face because of it,” Taylor said.
So far, Taylor’s page has made $875. The dedicated teacher has managed to learn a lesson of her own through this.
“That there are really people actually out there who do want to help when things happen,” Taylor said.
Taylor says she’s going to be sharing the wealth through whatever donations she can get from her GoFundMe page. She wants to help as many teachers as she can in that building.
For more information about the fundraiser, click here.