LIMESTONE COUNTY Ala. — Students at Clements High School went above and beyond to bring the smile back to their teacher’s face.
Troy Rogers is a history teacher at Clements High School. His dog of over ten years, Chip, went blind and one day wandered off.
“I was just heartbroken,” Rogers said. “We don’t have any children of our own. I just missed him so bad and I was wondering, ‘Is he out there suffering?'”
After an exhaustive search, Chip was never found. But, Rogers’ students stepped up to do something amazing.
“He does so much for his students, like we’re his own,” said Haleigh Moss, a Clements High School senior. “So we wanted to do something special for him.”
His students collected hundreds of dollars and surprised Rogers at school.
“Instantly there were people everywhere. And then I saw students holding up this beautiful golden retriever puppy,” Rogers said. “Clementine as it turns out.”
The puppy was named Clementine, after the Clements High School mascot.
“When I saw his face I teared up instantly,” said Miranda Ezell, a Clements High School senior. “Because I have never felt something so good like that. Just knowing that he’s happy now.”
Rogers said that while the dog was a surprise, the heart and compassion of his students is nothing new.
“I never underestimate how good teenagers are,” Rogers said. “I inherently believe in our youth. But this just floored my wife and me.”
Rogers said this thoughtful gesture is an example of the lessons his students teach him.
“I think adults can learn a lot from kids because they genuinely want to do good for others. They want to feel valued. They want to be contributors,” Rogers said. “I don’t have the words, I’m trying to find them but they’re not going to come.”
His students said it was the natural thing to do for a man who teaches them life and history lessons every day.
Rogers said the surprise was the single most memorable day of his almost 20-year teaching career and he hopes to someday soon to get Clementine a sister.