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#ClearTheList Returns To Help Teachers From Longview To DFW

The new school year has arrived, but Stonewater Roofing first helped nine lucky teachers get the supplies they needed for their classrooms. It was part of the East Texas company’s annual #ClearTheList campaign, a push to assist underpaid educators by fulfilling their Amazon wishlists.

This was Stonewater Roofing’s third year helping out teachers. It was also the company’s largest school supply drop ever, hand-delivering books, games, pens, stickers and much more. Instructors ranged from elementary to high school and stretched from the DFW area to Longview. Winners were chosen randomly, and this year just so happened to include two ladies from Owens Elementary School in Tyler.

  • Bonnie Carney, Holiday Heights Elementary School in North Richland Hills
  • Regina Cooper Ahn, Bridgemark Center For Learning in Tyler
  • Nicole Dickerson, Stanton-Smith Elementary School in Whitehouse
  • Tracy Dingler, Bullard Elementary School in Bullard
  • Sarah Galland, Velma Penny Elementary School in Lindale
  • Stephanie Pearce, Pine Tree Primary School in Longview
  • Amy Touchstone, Longview High School in Longview
  • Risa Wasik, Owens Elementary School in Tyler
  • Kayla Whiddon, Owens Elementary School in Tyler

The #ClearTheList movement started as a social media phenomenon. School districts simply cannot afford to buy all of the supplies needed for their classrooms. So, many educators started relying on the kindness of online strangers, posting their wishlists and sharing the registries on social media with the #ClearTheList hashtag. The campaign soon turned into a viral sensation.

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“I’ve already spent a lot of money on my classroom, and there’s always more things to buy,” explained Dickerson as she learned that her list would be cleared. “There’s some things on there that we use every single day, like the paper and the markers, the things that get used up and we have to constantly buy.”

“I put so much into my classroom,” added Galland. “Not just money, but time and energy and just my whole heart.”

“If you teach with your heart first, more than anything, they’re going to remember that,” stated Touchstone about her Longview high schoolers. She said that many come from impoverished environments, and they deserve to have the same opportunities found elsewhere. “I feel like God put me in this position, at this school, for right now.”

Employees from Stonewater Roofing brought the overstuffed boxes of school supplies to the teachers before the new school year began. “We have come through probably the hardest year of our teaching careers,” said Carney, referencing the challenges that came about due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “This last group of kids made it, and I’m so looking forward to this new group of kids.”

Stonewater Awards Scholarships To 4 East Texas Students

Stonewater Roofing awarded $1,000 college scholarships to four lucky East Texas students this month, as former high schoolers start looking ahead to the future. Teens were encouraged to submit a video explaining their hopeful career path, their inspiration for choosing that path, and what the scholarship would mean to them.

“It’s impressive what kids can do these days,” explained Stonewater Roofing CFO Chris Morris. “Everybody had a great story, so it definitely made it tough for us to choose.” In fact, it was so hard to narrow down the field that the company reached out to its partners for help.

The initial plan was to only offer two scholarships, one for the Tyler area and one for the Longview area. However, after watching videos from so many amazing kids, Morris said, “It was clear that two wasn’t going to be enough.” Stonewater Roofing asked the folks at GAF, Infinity Marketing and M. Roberts Digital to pitch in extra cash and help provide scholarships for twice as many of the entrants.

The two winners from Tyler were Jayla Gipson and Christopher Whitmore, while the winners from Longview were Braden Nickel and Lanie Pritchett.

Gipson graduated from Tyler High School and will be attending the University of Texas at Arlington in the fall. She plans to study business and commercial real estate, with the goal of one day being her own boss. However, she is mostly focused on giving back to the community like her grandmother who died from COVID-19 in January. “She was always so hard-working, and she always pushed me to be hard-working as well,” Gipson said.

Some people may already know Whitmore’s name. The former Tyler Legacy High School student was featured in the news for an internship he had at Hood Packaging, where he designed a drainage filtration system. He will be studying civil engineering in the fall at Texas A&M, with hopes of becoming a construction project manager. “It all started out with LEGOs,” he said.

Nickel graduated from Longview High School and is heading out of state to study computer science at Louisiana Tech University in the fall. “I believe that computer science is the future of humanity, and that’s something that I want to be a part of,” he stated in his video. “The only limitation is your imagination.”

Meanwhile, musical theatre has always been Pritchett’s passion, just like her mother before her. She started acting at a young age and never looked back, even winning a Best Actress award at a district competition. “I truly believe,” Pritchett added, “with all of my heart, that music and the arts can change the world and have an impact on other people’s lives.” The Gilmer High School grad will continue to study theatre at East Texas Baptist University in the fall.

“Watching all these videos, people have goals, and compassion, and they’re ready to go to the next level,” said Brennan Eberhart, direct sales supervisor for Stonewater Roofing. “They have a bright idea for the future.”

East Texas Teachers Receive Massive #ClearTheList Deliveries

With the new school year fast approaching, teachers across the nation participated in the #ClearTheList campaign, a social media phenomenon that helped educators stock up on necessary school supplies for the latest crop of students. A group of four East Texas teachers saw everything on their wishlists hand-delievered to their classrooms, courtesy of Stonewater Roofing.

It’s no secret that teachers are underpaid, and school district budgets can only provide limited help for each of their employees. So, many of the nation’s educators have turned to strangers online for assistance, creating wishlists on Amazon and sharing these registries on social media with the #ClearTheList hashtag. This campaign quickly turned into a viral sensation.

The hope is that a kind soul will buy an item and ship it directly to the teacher, until the entire list of school supplies has been purchased. The campaign has been a success for many teachers nationwide, but Asquith, Butler, Lampkin and Mansinger never expected to hear that all of their classroom needs were being fulfilled in one swoop.

“Oh, my gosh. That’s amazing,” said Lampkin upon hearing the news. “That is awesome.”

Stonewater Roofing created the biggest #ClearTheList social media thread in East Texas, earning more than 20,000 responses from area educators and supporters. The company randomly selected four lucky teachers and purchased every item on their wishlists.

“Thank you,” said Butler when she was told about her upcoming delivery. “That just made my day.”

The wishlists included standard back-to-school fare such as pencils, crayons, markers, watercolors, rulers, scissors, sticky notes, glue sticks, and tape. There were also more specialized learning tools including math games, geometry sets, magnets, modeling clay, geography puzzles, and games about socialization. Asquith even requested a canvas play teepee for her students.

But the wishlists contained organizational tools for the teachers as well. There were filing cabinets, paper organizers, storage carts, and bulletin boards on the lists, along with basic equipment like a floor lamp and headphones. These are all tools that will help the teachers as they aim to enrich the educational experience for East Texas students this coming year.

“The majority of our staff are products of area school districts and now have our own children within those schools,” explained Trent Spradlin, Chief Marketing Officer for Stonewater Roofing. “That being said, we do what we can to support our teachers in areas they need help the most.”

“Thank you so, so much,” added a delighted Mansinger. “That is just the best surprise.”

Employees from Stonewater Roofing began hand-delivering the cases of school supplies to the four lucky teachers on Friday.

Elementary Drumline To Play At Texas Revolution Game

Indoor football fans at the Texas Revolution game in Frisco on April 14 will also enjoy a rousing performance by the Caldwell Arts Academy drumline. “We love showcasing our students and the talents they have,” explained Bobby Markle, principal of the Tyler Independent School District campus.

The drumline is even more impressive because it is made up entirely of elementary students.

In fact, the Caldwell kids are the first competitive elementary school drumline in East Texas. “We were looking for outlets for these kids to perform. Elementary drumlining is not a big thing in Texas. It’s usually reserved for middle schools and high schools,” Markle said. “These are not just elementary students who picked up percussion and are going to struggle through cadences. These kids really have a God-given talent.”

That talent is now taking the Caldwell drumline to Stonewater Roofing Field at the Ford Center in Frisco, home of the Dallas Cowboys and home field for the Texas Revolution indoor football team. The Revs square off against the Amarillo Venom at 1:00 PM on Sunday, April 14, with the pint-sized drummers as featured entertainers.

“Our kids get to perform on some pretty big stages just because of what our school does, but there’s not a bigger stage than where they are going on Sunday,” Markle added. “These kids will surprise a lot of those audience members. These kids are kids, don’t get me wrong, but they are professionals.”

The afterschool drumline program began with some parents who had experience in percussion and wanted to share their own talents with the younger generation. “At the time, we were having some discipline issues and issues with engagement. I thought, what a great outlet for young men to be able to beat on something. They want to do it anyway,” recalled Markle. “Once we got started, it just took off and has really been a robust program for us that will continue not only as a drumline, but as a part of our percussion curriculum.”

Stonewater Roofing COO Jacob Law (a former drum major) and CMO Trent Spradlin (a former drum captain) contributed educational and financial resources to the program. Spradlin is also one of the drumline directors. Students practice two days each week, learning discipline and character development, along with a little bit of rhythm.

“I just think communities need to be engaged in things that are positive,” Markle said. “We run into a lot of distractions in our communities around differences and things like that. But you get these kids on a drumline and see all the adults and children watching, smiling… that’s what community is about. It’s about the great things in your community, and this drumline is one of them.”

Elementary Kids Prepare For Drumline Competition

A growing East Texas company is encouraging growth of the arts in the Tyler Independent School District. The Caldwell Arts Academy Drumline is the first competitive elementary school drumline in East Texas. Students from first through sixth grade auditioned for the group and are gearing up for competitions in early 2019.

Stonewater Roofing, a Tyler based commercial and residential roofing company, has a special appreciation for these types of programs. COO Jacob Law (former John Tyler High School Drum Major) and VP of Communications Trent Spradlin (former Robert E. Lee Drum Captain) have contributed financial and educational resources to the organization.

Directed by Spradlin and Travis Sutphen, students practice two days each week learning discipline, character development and a little bit of rhythm.

Spradlin hopes that the district sees the benefits, internally and externally, that this program provides, and expects similar programs to develop over the coming years.

If it weren’t for the support and flexibility of Stonewater Roofing, the program would not be at the level it is at currently. With the growth of the company, Stonewater Roofing will continue to provide support for groups like the Caldwell Drumline, not only here in Tyler, but in all of their service areas throughout Texas.

A version of this article originally appeared on KLTV’s website.