DHS Choral Department sponsors ALS Ice Bucket challenge for teachers

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Teachers from the high school along with some administration staff joined each other on the field while students doused them with ice water in an effort to raise money for ALS. (Olivia Colchado photo)
Teachers from the high school along with some administration staff joined each other on the field while students doused them with ice water in an effort to raise money for ALS. (Olivia Colchado photo)

She knew what was coming, yet the icy water still shocked her senses as it water-falled over her. She could not help but cringe as her clothes became drenched, and her bones began to chill. English II teacher Caressa Roberts wondered for a split second why she had volunteered herself for such torture. Once she considered the suffering of the ALS patients, however, the Ice Bucket Challenge seemed to be no big deal at all. Roberts was one of several teachers nominated to participate in this challenge. They were drenched by their own students at half time of a football game in an effort to raise money for the cause, collecting over $500.

“There is so much going on with the spread of sickness and disease that we see on a daily basis,” Ty Shaw, a choir teacher who’s department sponsored the fundraiser, said. “And with a school of this size I believe that we could contribute to this worthy cause for research.”

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed. Eventually, the cause leads to death.

Shaw was inspired and was determined to help raise money for the ALS association.

“Our goal was to have as many teachers, administrators, and students as possible to be apart of the challenge.” Shaw said.

The event caught the teachers attention and inspired them to get involved.

“It is important for my students to see people doing things for a good cause,” Principles of Human Services teacher Kimberly Baker said. “I immediately wanted to volunteer!”

Roberts knew she was going to be pressured into accepting the challenge.

“I have quite a few students who would love to pour water on me for all the times I graded their essays and found mistakes,” Roberts said.

Roberts said she felt like she was setting a good example.

“I felt like my students were able to see a different side of me from the one I present in the classroom,” Roberts said. “I was able to be silly and show more of who I really am. But more importantly, they saw that I am willing to stand up and be the change I want to see in the world.”

Roberts was concerned about her shower cap falling off while she was drenched in water.

“I went to the salon right after school and I did not want my hair to get wet,” Roberts said. “I went out and purchased a really gaudy shower cap (leopard print) and made sure that I had on something that would not absorb a lot of water. It wasn’t the temperature of the water that worried me, it was the sanctity of my hair style.”

Math teacher Christopher Hill said he had a more positive mindset about the ordeal.

“I have always enjoyed these types of events,” Hill said. “Every now and then it is fun to get embarassed for a good cause.”

Though he was willing to participate for the good cause, he was shocked to find out how cold it was.

“It was so cold, I am not even sure my brain was working,” Hill said.

Student Angelica Navarro was responsible for dumping the water on her US History teacher John Strunc. She thought it was amusing to see his reaction.

“The look on their face was priceless,” Navarro said. “I certainly got great joy of it”

Roberts enjoyed uniting with her coworkers to make a difference.

“We were bonded, we were Duncanville and we were proud to be participating in this event,” Roberts said.

Duncanville Chief of Staff Mike Chrietzberg was very proud to see the school’s effort to assist others.

“This event was truly an exciting evening with a public testimony to the needs of those stricken with ALS and encouragement for their families,” Duncanville Chief of Staff Mike Chrietzberg said. “We made a difference for others, no matter how small.”

Though it was cold, Hill says it was worth it.

“I would do it again in a heartbeat,” Hill said.