Angie Townsend worked as a paraprofessional at the elementary when she was involved in a fatal car accident in February. As a way to honor the beloved staff member, the school dedicated a newly completed butterfly garden to Townsend.
“This garden honors the hard work, dedication, and loving spirit which Mrs. Townsend exhibited day in and day out,” said WES Principal Amy Heater. “For more than 20 years, Angie would often flutter around the school with her energetic spirit and contagious smile, instilling a love of learning everywhere she went, which reminds me of how butterflies fly from bush to bush exhibiting their beauty.”
While the garden was underway prior to Townsend’s passing, efforts to bring it to completion were sped up when several community partners lent a helping hand. They donated time, items for the garden such as planters, pavers, soil, mulch, rocks, and plants. To make the dedication that much more heartfelt, two rose bushes were planted in a garden; they were Townsends favorite pollinating plants.
The teacher’s parents, Jim and Sandra Walker, were awe-struck when they witnessed the work of the community with their own eyes.
“This was an overwhelming feeling for us, and we felt that is was the sweetest way to honor her. She loved White Elementary and her students,” said the Walkers.
A walking trail completes this educational Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) space.
“Students will also be able to care for the plants through each season, and White Elementary School’s Garden Club will be in charge of the maintenance and growth of this project in the future. The surrounding areas are being utilized for vegetable gardens at this time,” added Principal Heater.
“Angie would be overjoyed and say, ‘y’all didn’t have to do all of this,’ and would just sit down and cry,” said the Walkers. “I don’t think she would imagine that she meant so much to so many people.”