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Fortville students give color blind teacher new pair of glasses

FORTVILLE, Ind. – It was a big surprise for a color blind teacher in Fortville.

Mr. Dennie Mitchel is not able to see colors very vibrantly but a new gift from his students is changing that.

Mt. Mitchel teaches biology to freshman and sophomores at Mt. Vernon High School. During lessons on chromosomes, he told his students his grandfather was color blind and the gene was passed on to him. He’s joked with his students about getting special glasses so he can see color better.

About a month ago, one of his students decided he wanted to get Mr. Mitchel a pair of glasses. David Bundy went up to his principal to ask if he could start collecting donations for the expensive gift.

“When I first thought about it and I looked up how much they costed, I was a little doubtful about it,” said Bundy, a sophomore. “But I got out a piece of paper and on the ride home on the bus, I got four quarters from one person and that was my first pledge.”

His principal Greg Roach was proud of him for coming up with the idea.

“It also talks about the relationship Mr. Mitchel builds with his students,” said Roach.

Bundy was able to raise $329 from classmates and other staff. On Wednesday, Mr. Mitchel’s class surprised him with the gift.

Mr. Mitchel’s lesson plan was to review for their final on Friday. With the school’s help, his class tricked him into thinking they needed to be in lab for some of class so Bundy could surprise him with the gift. His students wrote a card and wore bright colors for the presentation.

One of them even drew a vibrant painting of a deer for the avid hunter.

“He just makes me happy. He is a funny guy. He got me an A in his class,” said Bundy.

Mr. Mitchel could not stop thanking his class for the thoughtful gift. He said he could see colors brighter with the glasses on.

“We give them a bad wrap. We want them to be quiet all of the time,” said Mr. Mitchel. “And then they do something like that and surprise you.”

It’s moments like these that make teaching even more rewarding for him.

“I am very surprised because I know that is a significant amount of money,” he said.

Mr. Mitchel said he’s always wanted to see the bright colors of the leaves during the fall. He’s excited he will get the chance to do that next year.

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