It was an emotional homecoming as Scott Dumas entered the end of the year awards ceremony at Mason County Central Middle School Tuesday afternoon.
The sixth grade social studies teacher was severely injured in a hit-and-run accident on April 16.
Students have been raising money for his family with bake sales, car washes, and by selling t-shirts.
The last day of school is typically a time for students to be recognized for their achievements, but this year there was more to it.
Cheers and tears greeted Dumas as he entered the assembly.
??The emotions that I had on my face, you could tell how it felt,?? said Scott Dumas. ??It was amazing to be able to come back and see all the students and the staff. Just the things I've been through in the family's been through, it was great to see them here.??
??Having a moment to talk to him, and tell him I love him, and care about him, and welcome him back was quite powerful,?? said fellow teacher and friend Phil Quinlan. ??Just having my friend come into the hallway at Mason County Central was pretty emotional for me personally.??
Students have been hard at work raising money for a teacher they love.
Lindsay Billow and Andee Carter were honored for spearheading the ??Dumas Strong?? campaign.
??He??s not just a teacher, but he was kind of like a family member with all the love that he shared,?? said Carter, Dumas?? former student. ??We just wanted to give all of that back to him and show him how much we care.??
??To have it led by two young ladies who want to reach out and help is quite remarkable and an inspiration to all of us,?? said Quinlan.
The students presented Dumas a check for $3,871. Principal Mark Olmstead says it's about more than the money raised.
??We want to recognize what those students efforts were and the kind heartfelt thoughts and attitudes they've had in trying to help somebody besides themselves, somebody outside of himself,?? explained Olmstead.
Dumas says the kindness he's experienced has been overwhelming.
??The biggest thing that I can tell the community is just how amazing they were to pull together and the support that my family had through the newspaper, Facebook, and through cards and letters. I'm just so happy and thankful that they were there. It's been awesome.
Students and teachers are looking forward to having Dumas back at school.
??The telltale sign that he's in the building: whistling down the hallway,?? said Olmstead. ??We miss that but we know that he's working his way back to where he can be part of our family again.??
Dumas will continue with outpatient therapy at Mary Free Bed in Grand Rapids through July.
He hopes to be back in the classroom this fall.