Earlier this month, a water main break and subsequent flood caused the school community at Edgewood Highland Elementary School to have to pull together and work through the emotional process of dealing with the total loss of school property, staff property and student property that was incurred, as well as the uprooting and relocating which followed the flood.
Some staff and students were moved to the Norwood Elementary School building and some to the Early Childhood Center (ECC). Preschool teacher Brenda Storti and her students were among those who moved to the ECC. Storti had recently been the recipient of a Golden Apple and had very proudly displayed her apple in her classroom. That apple, along with everything else, was a total loss. Storti and her students were safe but were relocated to a small, temporary space in the ECC.
When word got out that Storti’s Golden Apple had been among the things which had been destroyed in the flood, it was determined that a new one was in order. Rather than just send one through the mail, the Rhode Island Department of Education and Commissioner Ken Wagner decided to make a special personal delivery.
Tuesday morning dawned snowy and wet and a school delay caused its usual chaos, but the staff and students at ECC were there and present, ready to learn, and quite used to rising above such weather-related issues.
Representing Cranston Public Schools for the surprise presentation re-do were Superintendent Jeannine Nota-Masse, Park View Principal Michael Crudale and Executive Director of Pupil Personnel Services, Michele Simpson.
At the appropriate moment, the caravan of special guests walked into Storti’s classroom and surprised her for the second time. An emotional Storti rose to greet the group.
“We have some unfinished business,” Wagner told a very surprised Storti. “We know that we have challenges in our facilities all across our state, but when water came into your classroom, you saved your kids, but you lost your Golden Apple. You matter to us and we wanted to make that right, so here is your Golden Apple, again.”
Storti showed off her new Golden Apple to her students and thanked everyone for coming.
“Thank you so much, I really appreciate it,” she said.