T.K. Cassidy

T.K.'s Photos

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Meet T.K. Cassidy-Fleming from Dalton, Georgia

School librarian, T.K. Cassidy-Fleming, says that constant communication between the school, the community, and the home is the vital triad for a successful education. Dug Gap Elementary School in Dalton, Georgia currently has a small sign that stands near a busy street, has a very small message space, and must be changed manually. Finding someone who can climb the ladder, handle the letters, and change the sign both regularly and safely has been difficult. T.K. requested $19,000 for a new, state-of-the-art wireless, electronic sign that will not only keep parents and community members involved and informed about the happenings at the school, it will also let the community know that they are a forward thinking institution keeping up with technology.

The school has over 500 students and with the new sign, their families, all the teachers’ families, and all the people who pass by will know what’s going on at the school: parent meetings, the summer program, informational meetings, free summer lunch program, as well as picture day, book fairs, holidays, etc. The “rising of the sign” promises to be a big community event.

“On a personal note,” says TK, “this school has been very good to me and given me the home I never had as an adult. I left my childhood home early and roamed the world with my late husband. I never truly understood what having ‘roots’ meant until I landed here. When my husband passed away a couple years ago, they helped me get through it and come back whole. As I get ready to retire (5 years), I want to leave a thank you that will help the school, the children, their families, and the community at large.”

Diary Starts Here

April 5th, 2009
We heard from T.K. who says the new sign is wonderful and they continually get good remarks on how much better it is than the old one. She also says she has been selected to be the media specialist at a new state of the art school being built near her home. She says she didn't expected it but is very honored to have been chosen. Our congratulations to T.K.!

March 13th, 2009
T.K. sent us two beautful blue Dug Gap blankets, and a DVD of the sign raising... Click below to see the video.

Click the image to watch the video

January 12th, 2009
It's up! T.K. told me today that the new school sign went up this morning. They decided to have a fire drill so all 523 students could be outside to watch it happen. "The kids were so funny." said T.K. "When it started moving, they all started yelling "Move that sign!" like they do on 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.' I nearly fell over laughing. The sign is beautiful!"

click the image to see a slideshow

January 6th, 2009
This should have been an update saying the school sign is up, since it was scheduled to arrive last week. But it's been delayed until the 12th.

October 3rd, 2008
Things are moving along. The maintenance folks were out last week measuring and drawing the platform to be sure it fits the sign. And T.K has been invited to the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday to be recognized for obtaining this grant. That's fantastic.

September 11th, 2008
Now I know why it's "Cassidy-Fleming." T.K. remarried a couple of months ago so congratulations!

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T.K.'s very excited about her grant and has told everyone, even her friends on Guam and in Australia!

September 10th, 2008
T.K. is on the move with the new sign. It looks like it could be up in 90 days! And since she's also the "webmistress" for the school website, here's the new page she just posted:

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September 9th, 2008
I love surprises and thanks to assistant principal Leona Coker, this was a big one. T.K. was the only person who started crying even before I got to say, "Congratulations, you're getting a grant." Everyone was in Principal Mandy Locke's office for my call and I could feel the excitement over the phone. T.K. said it should just take a few weeks to get the new sign in place and we will definitely have before and after photos. I was also able to speak to the local newpaper and TV reporters who will be featuring T.K.'s story. By the way, she has 8 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren!

9/09/08: Jenny & Damon wrote... "Congratulations on becoming a part of our special Teachers' Month. We hope the community is as thrilled with the new sign as we are to help provide it."

9/17/08: Anthony wrote... "Wow T.K. you have just updated your school with this new sign. Plus what an amazing story of the community standing by your side during a loss in your life. It takes a lot to have strangers help you to come back as a whole..... Congrats! and good luck in your retirement."