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‘They are truly our superheroes’: First Lady Pamela Northam tours Roanoke County schools

She called teachers unsung heroes of the pandemic

ROANOKE, Va. – The First Lady of Virginia’s third annual back-to-school tour is underway with a visit to Roanoke County.

Pamela Northam stopped by Burlington Elementary to read to masked students who were socially distanced in a classroom.

The retired educator said this year obviously looks and feels different.

“This year instead of bringing our usual school supplies and books, we’re bringing books and PPE. We want to help our teachers continue to keep our kids healthy, safe and learning,” said Northam.

“When I had a conversation with her, I was able to have a conversation knowing that she understands what I’m saying, she understands the complications and the things that we’re going through,” said Beth Grim, Burlington Elementary School principal.

Northam called teachers unsung heroes of the pandemic as they’ve adjusted to so many changes over the past several months.

“My fellow educators, I am so proud of them, they are truly our superheroes, because they have stepped right up. They’ve had to make adjustments very quickly,” Northam said.

Northam visited the Science Museum of Western Virginia as well and toured The LAB, which is a new program created over the summer to help parents and students with virtual learning.

The LAB director Mary Roberts Baako said it’s an honor for Northam to stop in and recognized the staff’s hard work.

“I hope for our team who’ve all worked so hard, it is a moment for us to take a breath and say ‘wow, we’ve done something here,’” said Baako.

The LAB combines the structure and support of a classroom with hands-on learning.


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