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Every Shingle Heart: 3 local teachers receive new roofs for the holidays

Reliant Roofing Company's Every Shingle Heart Initiative is a program focused on giving back to those in the community who give to their communities. News4JAX's Lena Pringle met with a local teacher who says this act of kindness came at exactly the right time.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s a holiday surprise that definitely adds up. Three local teachers are receiving new roofs -- all thanks to a roofing company.

Reliant Roofing Company’s “Every Shingle Heart Initiative” is gifting new roofs to educators, as part of an annual initiative. It is a program focused on giving back to those who give.

This year, three local educators across the River City are receiving new roofs after being nominated back in August.

Seaside Charter teacher Sherrie Fekete, a 2021 initiative winner, said this act of kindness came at exactly the right time.

“It’s just been life-changing for me,” Sherrie Fekete said. “It’s awesome to see them going out to reach out to educators... because a lot of times we feel that we are looked down upon and that we’re supposed to solve all the problems of the world. And sometimes we have more and more put on our plate, it’s kind of nice to have someone take something off our plate.”

Sherrie Fekete with Reliant Roofing (Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

Fekete said the new roof has taken a huge weight off of her back, and without it, she knew there would be more problems down the road.

“It would be a struggle. It’s a stressor because I know it’s coming, we’re starting to see the patches where it needs to be fixed. It’s just a huge relief because you know having kids in college and having you know life, in general, is hard to save that money up. So, it’s just amazing,” said Fekete.

Fekete was nominated by more than 20 people when the original News4Jax story about the initiative aired.

“It was coworkers, parents present and past, and it was just very heartwarming,” said Fekete. “People always say that I am a great teacher, and they always love me, but I personally never really believed it,” said Fekete.“This has kind of helped me be able to accept that hey maybe I am worthy. It’s just kind of been very amazing to me that this company reached out and wanted to help educators in a way.”

When this year’s contest was launched a few months ago, Sean Shapiro, the roofing company’s CEO, said teachers deserve this act of kindness now more than ever.

“They’re the frontline workers who don’t get all of the notoriety as some of the other frontline workers. It’s near and dear to my heart and my partner’s heart. My wife is actually a schoolteacher here in Duval County and we have some former teachers here that work for us at Reliant, so we understand the long days and long hours that they put in for those kids to normalize life at school during Covid,” said Sean Shapiro, Reliant Roofing Company’s CEO.

Another educator nominated was Michelle Wadsworth, a Math Interventionist at Ramona Boulevard Elementary and The Bridge to Success Academy.

Michelle’s friend, Amanda, nominated her for the 2021 Every Shingle Heart Program.

“Due to Covid and some other unforeseen circumstances, Michelle has taken in her friend’s daughter and three children, a nephew who had nowhere else to go, and recently a friend who lost her house and was going to become homeless,” Amanda said. “During the summer, instead of recuperating from the stress of the school year, she often runs “grandma and me” playtime at her house for anyone’s kids, for free. She spends her own money to make sure that teachers and students have everything that they need to be successful in school and life. Michelle has been using a bucket to catch the water in her living room. This roof would be heaven on earth for her. There is no one more deserving.”

Michelle Wadsworth with Reliant Roofing (Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

Jerry Langford, a Physics and Forensic Science Teacher at Sandalwood High School, was the final teacher to receive a new roof.

Jerry’s brother, Kelley, nominated him for a new roof.

“Jerry has been teaching in Duval County for almost 30 years,” Kelley, stated. “After suffering a catastrophic injury in college that left him paralyzed, he decided to become a teacher. Jerry has positively impacted the lives of thousands of students. Over the years parents have written countless letters about the effect he has had.”

Thank you, educators, for all the hard work you do throughout the year!

About the Author:

Anchors the 4:30 a.m. newscast, provides traffic updates throughout the rest of The Morning Show, then reports on events in the community.