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Chalkville Elementary principal drives students home

By Gary Lloyd

CHALKVILLE — Chalkville Elementary School Principal Rod Johnson drove 10 to 12 students home during Tuesday’s inclement weather.

“Most of the students lived within three or four miles from the school,” Johnson said. “I have an all-wheel drive vehicle and I have experience driving in wintry conditions.”

Johnson, in his ninth year as the school’s principal, was granted permission from the students’ parents before transporting any of them.

Johnson said he believes most of the parents know that the safety of the students is his main priority.

Cars are abandoned on Chalkville Mountain Road on Tuesday
photo courtesy of Keith Kennedy

“The parents of the students who were transported had no way to get to the school to get their children,” Johnson said. “As a parent and grandparent I felt it was best for the kids to be home with their parents as long as they could be transported safely. If I did not feel that the conditions were safe the kids would still be at the school with me and the other staff members who helped with supervision.”

Twelve students spent Tuesday night at the school, along with 10 Clay-Chalkville Middle and Clay-Chalkville High students. There were 23 staff members on hand.

Read more about the schools here.

Students were given sandwiches and chips for dinner Tuesday night and cereal and fruit for breakfast Wednesday. The younger students spent most of their time watching movies, while the older students spent most of their time in the computer lab, Johnson said.

All students had been picked up or taken home by about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

“I can’t say enough about the staff at Chalkville,” Johnson said. “Teachers, support personnel and our assistant principals did an outstanding job under difficult circumstances. I would not trade the staff at Chalkville for any other school staff. It sounds cliché but there really is a sense of family at Chalkville. We have a staff of around 130 teachers, support staff and administrators. One of the first things I noticed when I came to Chalkville was the closeness of our faculty. It is not uncommon for our staff members to request prayer for situations that they might be facing. This spiritual closeness is one of the things that makes Chalkville a special place to work. We are not perfect and we do have our differences but in the end everyone pulls together to do what is best for our kids.”

Contact Gary Lloyd at and follow him on Twitter @GaryALloyd.

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