Judy Jester Learning Center receives large donation

Judy Jester Learning Center receives large donation

By Josh Ault - Bio | Email

MOULTON, AL (WAFF) - A Lawrence County teacher was brutally beaten to death by a 15-year-old student in 2005.

An alternative school was named in her memory.

Monday that school received a major donation.

The donation came from the department of child abuse and neglect prevention.

The school relies heavily on these donations to help at-risk students.

Judy Jester was beaten to death in 2005.

In August of 2006, the alternative school where that student attended was named in Jester's memory: The Judy Jester Learning Center.

From its start of 10 students, it has grown to more than 40.

School leaders say Jester would have been honored by its growth in helping at-risk students.

Heath Grimes, Lawrence County School Superintendent, said, "I wish I would had known her because I know the legacy she left behind, Mrs. Jester would be thrilled."

A check of $43,000 was given to help the program continue to grow.

Rosemary Lewey, an English teacher at the center, said, "In return they expect us to get our kids back involved in the community."

The learning center focuses on students who have had problems with the law, sickness, and even pregnancy.

All the seniors attending the center got great scores on their graduation requirements.

They focus on getting them a sturdy diploma, and opportunities in junior colleges.

Jessica Grimes, a senior at the center, said, "You get more one on one time with all the teachers."

"We have such wonderful teachers there, their attitudes are so positive," added Grimes.

Lewey said, "These kids don't ask to be born into these families, the situations they are put in, we have to help."

The student who killed Jester attended the alternative school for just 2 days before the crime.

School leaders say their goal is to reach these students before it's too late.