Construction to Begin on Walter Hill Outdoor STEAM Classroom, Learning Center to Honor Legacy of Beloved Teacher

Officials from Walter Hill Elementary School, Rutherford County Schools and Republic Services will gather on May 16 to celebrate the groundbreaking of a new outdoor STEAM classroom. Last year, Republic Services announced a $120,000 grant to the Miss Katie Woodie Foundation to construct the facility at Walter Hill in honor of Woodie, a beloved teacher who passed away suddenly in 2021.

The Miss Katie Woodie Foundation is dedicated to lessening the financial burden on teachers, who often purchase classroom essentials out of their own pockets, by providing items that facilitate learning and fun. The Republic Services funding will help kickstart Walter Hill’s STEAM accreditation program and pay for the construction of the new classroom.

“Walter Hill Elementary is in our backyard, and we are always grateful for the opportunity to support their work and curriculum,” said Mike Classen, General Manager of Middle Point Landfill. “This classroom will cultivate a new learning experience for students and teachers, and we are honored to be a part of that.”

“It is our hope that this new classroom will remove barriers and open doors to new areas of learning that our students have yet to experience at Walter Hill,” said Mrs. Laura Heath, Principal of Walter Hill Elementary. “We are grateful for the partnership of Republic Services and their contribution to the legacy of the beloved teacher whose foundation has made this endeavor possible.”

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