Funeral services set for Center Point teacher

      Elaine Peterson

      Funeral services have been set for a Center Point Elementary School teacher who was killed in a vehicle accident Thursday.

      58-year-old{}Elaine Peterson, a special education teacher from Homewood, was killed after the SUV she was driving struck a service truck turning left off Alabama Highway 79 at Pawnee Road.

      Visitation will be Sunday at 3 pm with services at 5 pm at the Baptist Church of the Covenant on University Blvd. in Birmingham.

      In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations to be made to the CPES SpEd department.

      Center Point Elementary School's principal released the following statement Friday:

      "Ms. Peterson was a very special member of the Center Point Elementary Family (Family, Staff, Students and Parents). She spent countless hours, beyond the school day, serving her students and their families. She taught special needs children and she loved each of them as if they were her own.

      Elaine did whatever it took to get materials for her classroom. She spent hours recovering and cleaning materials after a tornado destroyed her classroom last January. She applied for and received many grants from an organization called Donors Choose. These grants allowed her to secure even more classroom materials. After the tornado destroyed her classroom, she had to move to a former storage facility for a temporary classroom for one year. She cleaned and decorated and made a remarkable transformation into a fun and friendly learning environment for kids. She was able to move to a second temporary classroom in January of this year and created this same transformation all over again. Many years ago, our staff read a book called 'Whatever It Takes.' That was Ms. Peterson. She was a true example of doing whatever it takes to love and educate children.

      Ms. Peterson loved her students dearly, but she also loved her colleagues and she made them laugh. This meant a lot during a year of special challenges from tornado recovery. Most importantly, she made a difference in the lives of many very special kids and she will be deeply missed by all."