Troy Fire Leaves Local Students and Families Down and Out, Here is How You Can Help

This will be strictly informative for the call to action is immediate. Unfortunately, the recent fires in Troy hit myself and an entire school community, PS 12 close to home, for three of our students have now been displaced from their homes with most of their belongings left to the mercy of the flames. For those of you who don’t know, I teach at PS12 on 475 1st Street, in Troy, right down the block from South Troy Diner.


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I cannot provide you with information of the students names for legality reasons, but I can describe the type of kids we have at PS12:

PS 12 is the Alternative Learning Program for Troy City School District, where students who struggle in a traditional setting attend instead of Troy High School and Troy Middle School.

We have our ups and downs like any family, but despite what you may have heard, I can sit here and give my word that my school is full of loving, unique and charismatic kids. Kids who have every reason to feel down and out yet still make a point to smile and laugh, and we do everything we can do to make that happen because that’s what they deserve. We use alternative methods to teach kids who don’t gravitate toward the more traditional practices, and it’s that simple –this is a place where distinct individuals find themselves to enable the growth they are indeed capable of and have shown.

You may know our Principal, Mr. Canfield, who is also the offensive and defensive line coach for the two-time state champion Troy High Flying Horses football team. I say this because if you happen to know Mr. Canfield, you know where he comes from, and you know he loves his students in the classroom and on the football field unconditionally. He is a great man who has raised a great community at PS12 that other Alternative Learning Programs from around the state look to model.



Right now the school is collecting donations of any kind, from food to specific sized clothing to food and money. Something like a Wal-Mart gift card go a long way to help get our kids and their families toiletries and those immediate things you need but don’t have at your disposal in a tragic time. They are currently in hotels thanks to the generosity of the community, but with nowhere to cook, so restaurant gift cards will allow the families to eat during this difficult time. Whatever you can think that can help, it probably will.

Anyone can reach out to PS 12’s school counselor about details, Beth Voneitzen at You can call her office at 518-328-5016 and if she isn’t able to answer right away please leave your name and contact info so we can get back to you.

Thank you so much for your time and donations ahead of time. I have faith this community and our beautiful city of Troy, NY will pull together to make this a moment to reflect on how Troy sticks together.

All love, blessings, and strength sent your way.

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