FRENCHTOWN - The water jug on the office counter at Frenchtown’s Intermediate School is filling up with spare change. Pennies for Paskey. Bucks for Bette. Just a tiny piece of a fundraising effort to help 6th grade teacher Bette Paskey.
“Bette’s been here for 40 years and her husband Rod has been here even more than that, but I don’t think there’s been anybody that’s gone through the Frenchtown School system that hasn’t been impacted by either Mr. or Mrs. Paskey,” said 3rd-6th grade counselor Carol Fisk.
Bette and Rod discovered Bette had brain cancer last November, and she is currently undergoing treatment. Her classroom still bears her name, but she needs to concentrate on her recovery so she’s home now. But while she might not be physically in the classroom, she’s the type of teacher who makes an indelible mark on students and her colleagues.
“She really knows the students," Fisk said. "She can tell you several facts about every single one of them. She really is something.”
“At the end of the conversation, she always says “here we go” so I thought that was more than fitting," said Principal Aaron Griffin. "She is always positive. 'Here we go, we’re going to have a great day.'”
The school was shocked and upset by Bette’s diagnosis, but it wasn’t long before everyone jumped into action.
The school is putting on a fundraising carnival at the high school Thursday night with a silent and live auction, games for the kids, food and a raffle. It’s a small village that’s coming together to help one of its own and while the Paskeys are humbled by the outpouring of support, their friends and their community can’t do enough.
“The school is the community of Frenchtown, so that’s our battle cry,” Griffin said.
-- The family fun carnival is this Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Frenchtown High School. All proceeds benefit Rod and Bette Paskey.