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Springfield Chamber of Commerce surprises middle school teacher

A Thurston High School teacher is awarded $5,000.

Posted: Jan 16, 2018 6:31 PM
Updated: Jan 17, 2018 11:12 AM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — Representatives from the Springfield Chamber of Commerce gave a Thurston Highschool teacher a very special surprise Tuesday.

"I was totally surprised," Polly Kohl said.

Kohl teaches Girls Engineering in Middle School (GEMS) and was given a $5,000 check. Kohl said the GEMS program is offered in the spring and fall. She said it focuses on giving young girls career options such as wood shop, graphic design, drafting, and business class.

The money is a donation from local businesses that are part of the Chamber’s #WORKREADY program, a partnership between the Chamber of Commerce, the City of Springfield, Springfield Public Schools, and public investors.

"It's important to me because I am an engineer and in the engineering field women are in the minority," Kohl said. "The opportunities are out there and women has the skills to be in those programs."

Kohl said the money will be used for transportation, instructors, and materials.

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