LTS students raising funds for teacher

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DORSET — A teacher at Long Trail School is facing a family medical crisis but her students have her back.

Science teacher Jen Rosenthal's daughter, Mara, was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder that has affected her life in various ways.

Mara attended LTS before the illness forced her out of the classroom and the impacts on Mara and her family has touched the students at LTS.

A GoFundMe account was created by Kelsey McCullough to help raise money for the family's expenses.

"The Senior class from Long Trail School is raising money for the family of one of our favorite teachers," according to the site. "Jen is someone who is well liked by every single person in the school, as she is an amazing teacher, kind and funny."

Of the 52 donations to the GoFundMe effort, a large percentage of them come from Rosenthal's students.

"Everybody in the school respects her as a person and a teacher," McCullough said. "She's a great person."

The GoFundMe effort has raised $4,600 as of press time, but that wasn't the end of the students' effort.

The senior class at LTS this year agreed to donate the money raised toward their Senior Class Gift to the Rosenthal family.

McCullough said the more than two dozen LTS seniors were all on-board with the idea of donating the money.

"The senior gifts have always been items and I knew she could use the money more," McCullough said.

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Rosenthal will be taking a year off next year to deal with her daughter's health issues, and McCullough knew that every little bit would help.

"I knew what she was going through," she said.

Rosenthal wrote a thank you note to the school community, which was published in the weekly school newsletter recently.

"I want to thank all of the faculty, staff, students and families who have supported my family through this challenging year of medical diagnosis for my youngest daughter, Mara," Rosenthal wrote. "I cannot express how much your care, generosity and love have helped us and allowed us to continue seeking answers to many unknowns. I am so fortunate to be a part of this school community."

McCullough said Rosenthal has always been one of her favorite teachers. After having her as a freshman and sophomore, Rosenthal was her advisor for her extended essay, one of the requirements under the International Baccalaureate program at LTS.

In an email, Rosenthal mentioned the "kindness of students, faculty and the larger community and their support for me and my family during this challenging time."

More fundraising efforts will be underway this weekend.

The Dirty Wizards, made up of five Long Trail students, will be playing for donations at the Ann Taylor Factory Store, located at 16 Wyman Lane in Manchester from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 1.

The band members are sophomores Jaren Gallo on guitar, Chamberlain Willette on bass, Wesley Dennan on drums, senior Evan Coleman on keyboard, and junior vocalist Jae VanDerWielen.

Along with the music, baked goods will be sold and Alyssa Gallo will be selling her Miniature Morsels.

Contact Darren Marcy at dmarcy@manchesterjournal.com or by cell at 802-681-6534.


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