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Community News Aug 7th, 2017 - 18:35:15

"God had a different plan." Longtime teacher returns to classroom to help friend battling cancer.

By Dave Whitaker
Aug 7, 2017, 21:02

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If you were to ask Elaine Bates at the start of June where she'd be when school started back, she likely wouldn't have said teaching. Bates was two years retired after teaching for 35 years at Bleckley County Middle School.

"I did not see this in my future, but God had a different plan," said Bates in an email. That plan was for her to help out her former student, co-worker, and longtime friend, Jeannie Allen.

Allen, a sixth grade teacher at BCMS, was diagnosed with cancer in June. She and husband Jason share a longtime friendship with Elaine and husband Larry. Both Allen's were students of Elaine in eighth grade. The relationship grew with both Jeannie and Elaine teaching at BCMS and. Jason and Larry work together at KaMin (formerly known as Huber.)

When Jeannie was diagnosed with cancer, Elaine volunteered to unretire and teach her class. Bates doesn't see it as anything special. "Everyday retired teachers go back into the classroom to help out when needed." Bates sees her being there as God's work.

"This is something God put in place so Jeannie would not worry about being out for so long." She added that she would be teaching as long as needed to give Allen time to heal and be ready for school next year.

Bates knows though the road to recovery won't be easy. "Jeannie has a rough road before her and needs all the support that anyone can give." She asks everyone to continue to pray for Allen and her family. Another way to support Allen is to purchase a T-Shirt. The design is pictured below.

Cost is $20 with youth and all adult sizes available. Proceeds will go to Allen to help offset expenses. Orders can be placed at Nap Time Graphics, 105 E Beech St, Suite 4, or in the front office of BCMS.

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