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Message from the Superintendent: Teacher Appreciation Day [1]

Message from the Superintendent: Teacher Appreciation Day [1]

Please see the message below from Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian V. Hightower:

Every teacher, whether in his second year or in her 30th year, has them saved.

These treasures take many forms: the handmade cards with imperfect spelling and perfect love, the well-worn first “best teacher” mug turned pens holder and the shiny new one filled with coffee, the dried store-bought carnation and the dried playground dandelion.

Several years ago, I read a story about the gratitude a student showed her teacher.  This little girl, whose teacher knew did not have the means to give her a gift, handed her a small package at the end of the year.  The little girl had picked the colorful marshmallows from the cereal she received as part of her free school breakfast and packed them in the slim plastic bag that had held her plastic spoon.  She gave what she believed she had that held the most value … for, as the teacher later told a reporter, what are Lucky Charms without the marshmallows.

We, as adults, know the greatest gift the little girl had to give the teacher was her gratitude.  The marshmallows just made that love sweeter.

Today is our Nation’s Teacher Appreciation Day.  I don’t need a calendar to remind me of our teachers’ great value to me and our community, but they are certainly deserving of an official holiday in their honor.  And, after the past school year, I hope you feel the same way and more strongly about it than ever before.

For our teachers, who already gave so much of their time and their talents and their hearts to our children, this year gave even more.  As you may have struggled with worries, quarantines and temporary closures, they struggled as well … and not only for their own children and themselves and their colleagues, but also for your children and you and your entire family.  Our teachers showed up this school year, on time and ready to work, and showed us to be the frontline heroes they always have been and always will be.

One of my favorite days is when we celebrate our Teachers of the Year.  While it was delayed this year, with the honorees’ input we held the annual banquet last month.  We honored the top teacher from every school and center, as selected by their peers, with tributes from colleagues and family and generous gifts from business and community partners.  The evening culminated with the “opening of the envelope” to honor our star among stars, our CCSD Teacher of the Year.  Indian Knoll Elementary School teacher Chelsea Leming earned this honor, which she accepted on behalf of her colleagues stating she’d “never been more proud of her profession” as she had been this year.

From “reinventing education sitting in our dining rooms” last spring to returning to classrooms in August, Chelsea explained how she and her fellow teachers “put the best interest of their students at the heart of what they do” every day, no matter how challenging the task.

We will never be able to properly thank our teachers for their service this past year.  As you know, we awarded them special bonuses last month, and our School Board and I are committed to continuing to raise teacher pay and advocating for the best statewide healthcare and retirement benefits.

If you have not already, please consider thanking teachers this month, whether it’s your child’s teacher or your own favorite childhood teacher.  Make a card, send a small gift, write a letter, tag them in a message on social media. 

Teachers love the “marshmallows,” but, more than anything, they love seeing the respect and care that they model each day being displayed, in turn, by their students.

#ThankATeacher #CCSDfam #CCSDunited