Community Shows Support After Ms. Goodman’s Diagnosis


Ms. Britton

Ms. Goodman and Ms. Britton pose in their shirts.

In late December, beloved math teacher Ms. Goodman was diagnosed with an aggressive form of liver cancer.

After learning about Ms. Goodman’s diagnosis, math teacher Ms. Britton organized an effort to “show her support—not just financial—but emotional support.” The two have known each other for as long as they’ve worked together, and they currently have neighboring classrooms. “I think she’s more my friend than she is my coworker,” Ms. Britton said.

On Friday, January 10, Ms. Britton posted a GoFundMe page and it began to spread on social media. Allderdice students reposted the link, and it appeared in the weekly newsletter sent by Dr. McCoy to Allderdice families. Within hours, the page had received over 100 donations. As of January 14, the GoFundMe has received more than $20,000 and has been shared over 600 times.

In addition to monetary donations, Mr. Baumgart worked with other Allderdice staff and his Visual Communications 2 class to design t-shirts to fundraise for Ms. Goodman. The shirts, which are being printed at Allderdice, can be purchased in the library for $10. 

Since Ms. Goodman used most of her sick days after she was in an accident last school year, she applied for a medical sabbatical, where she would receive time off and partial pay. Ms. Britton initially set up the GoFundMe page with a $25,000 goal in order to supplement the sabbatical salary. However, because Ms. Goodman has worked in the district for eight and a half years, she doesn’t meet the district’s 10-year requirement to qualify for the sabbatical. Instead, she has to take an unpaid leave while she undergoes treatment. Ms. Britton increased the GoFundMe goal to $45,000 “to get her bills paid while she’s getting better.” 

Math teacher Mr. Deuschle brought up the idea that teachers who have extra sick days could donate them to Ms. Goodman, but remarked that “unfortunately” it is not allowed. “Or else, I know that, not only myself, but a lot of other teachers would also do that,” he said. Dr. McCoy mentioned that the teachers’ union and the school board will meet sometime in the next month to negotiate the teachers’ contract. Sick day and medical sabbatical policies may be discussed at this meeting.

The community was quick to respond to fundraising; on the first day of sales, Wednesday, January 15, some sizes had already sold out. In a video update that was posted to the GoFundMe page, Ms. Britton informed supporters that Mr. Baumgart is already working on a second batch of shirts. Ms. Britton also mentioned that a member of the local community offered to work with Ms. Britton to make the shirts available for purchase in a small business on Murray Ave. She hopes that they will be on sale sometime in the week of January 20.

On the GoFundMe page, parents, teachers, students, and administrators have sent Ms. Goodman messages of strength and hope. Students and teachers have begun to use #TeamGoodman to show their support, and the hashtag is prominently displayed on the t-shirts, as well. “There’s a lot of people fighting for her; she’s not doing this alone,” said Mr. Deuschle.