Lee Earns Top 25 Honor in State

The elementary school was 11th in the state this year, raising $24,633.62 during the annual Kids Heart Challenge.

In an email to the school from the Region VP, Development, School Engagement of the American Heart Association, Amy Hobley wrote, "Volunteers such as yourself truly make an impact on our mission and on the overall health and wellness of your students, parents, and staff." 

Lee Elementary has participated in the Kids Heart Challenge, formerly known as Jump Rope for Heart, since 1996 and collectively has donated more than $556,000 to the American Heart Association. 

Lee physical education teacher Samuel Thaler has continued the Heart Challenge program and said this year he’s always amazed at the amount of community support, involvement and donations.

In a statement after this year’s event, Thaler said, “This community stays true to their character of being generous, even in the face of hard times. I doubted we would raise as much money as we did, with inflation being what it is; yet once again, this community's giving has amazed me. Your support for the KHC each year is greatly appreciated.”


Lee Principal Dr. Angie Jefferson said the Heart Challenge tradition has become something students look forward to all year. “I think the initial event and passion behind this event truly came from retired Lee PE teacher Joanne Desy. It has been really special that Samuel Thaler (who actually student taught with Joanne Desy and was born and raised in this community) has been able to inspire the same great event and continue the legacy at Lee,” she said.