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Township #3 Elementary receives large Spirit Rock

Township #3 Elementary PTO member and a parent of a student at the school, Halie Ruppe, recently noted that on Feb. 17, the school received what she termed, "...an exciting addition to the school grounds in the form of a large, hefty boulder."

This is no ordinary rock, continued Mrs. Ruppe, but is what is called a 'spirit rock'. And, like many other area schools' spirit rocks, is brightly painted and proudly displayed on the school grounds. The school is located at 526 Davis Rd., in Shelby, and has served Cleveland County for over 50 years.

"For Township Three Elementary," said Mrs. Ruppe, "this spirit rock marks the first community-supported fundraiser for the school's new PTO team."

Township Three's Principal, Dr. Dustin Bridges, said, "We have amazing students and an excellent team of dedicated staff here at Township #3 Elementary and we hope to be able to show them our appreciation for the hard work and effort they put in each day. Our support from our PTO and local businesses, such as Martin Marietta, helps us do just that."

For her part, Mrs. Ruppe said, "It takes the help of our community to support our school and students. We are honored to have teamed up with both Martin Marietta for the spirit rock, and Mr. Greg Sain, owner of Sain Backhoe and Grading, for transporting and unloading the rock at our school."

Mrs. Danielle Schorr, PTO Co-President, said, "The PTO is looking forward to making long-lasting changes at Township Three. Community partnerships help us to provide much needed support to our students and staff. We plan to raffle off two 'VIP Parking' spaces and host school spirit nights to increase our budget. We also plan to collaborate on the end-of-year PBIS reward to celebrate our students' positive behavior."

Mrs. Jodi Hays, also a PTO Co-President noted, "Since moving here from Virginia, Township

Three Elementary school has been wonderful for my son, Zane. I think the PTO will be even bigger and better next year, and in the years to come."

It was noted by Mrs. Ruppe that she and Mrs. Hays were able to go on-site at the Martin Marietta rock quarry and select just the right rock with the assistance of Mr. Matt Baber, the lead man at the quarry.

Ruppe said Mr. Baber told her, "I love helping out with the local school kids each year and look forward to seeing them smile. Being involved with school field trips and community service projects, helps us connect to those who may not know who we are or what we do. Our team at Martin Marietta strives to show stewardship with our community."

Halie Ruppe said further that the plant manager at Martin Marietta's Kings Mountain location, Mr. Steve Hullander, said, "I try to educate our youth about what mining is, and how the mining process works here at our quarry. I think it's very important to encourage our younger generation and that's something I enjoy doing."

Ruppe noted space on the school's "spirit rock" will be available to rent for $15 a day and will allow parents, families, or friends to celebrate their student's birthdays or commemorate special events. Renters have the option of painting the rock themselves or hiring an artist to create the perfect design.

Ruppe said Township #3 Elementary has approximately 550 students enrolled from Pre-K to 5th grade and 110 staff members.

For those who would like to give to the school's PTO, or rent space on the "spirit rock", they are asked to please call (704) 476-8245 in order to do so.

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