“Do you want to build a snowman?” Rowan-Salisbury teachers spend snow day at work and play

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 27, 2015

Do you want to build a snowman?

Rowan-Salisbury’s school nutrition employees turned up the heat in a friendly snowman-making competition Thursday.

According to school nutrition supervisor Lisa Altmann, snow days are particularly stressful for school nutrition employees, so she wanted to find a way to help them enjoy the day off.

“It’s really hard when we miss school because we have food, we have deliveries,” she said, adding that not only do they worry about not getting the products they need or existing food items going bad, they also worry about whether or not their students are being fed at home.

“We did it for a morale boost,” Altmann said. “My coworkers and I are very competitive.”

The competition worked.

School nutrition employees built and submitted pictures of more than two dozen snowmen Thursday. The employees will vote amongst themselves on a winner next week.

“We’re just excited that they’re having fun,” Altmann said.

School nutrition employees weren’t the only Rowan-Salisbury employees who made a point to enjoy the snow.

April Williamson, Southeast Middle’s Literacy Design Coach, and her son started off the day with snow cream for breakfast, then they headed out to the sledding hill in China Grove.

“We have been sledding all morning,” she said, as they went to a fellow teacher’s house to warm up, eat cookies and watch television.

“I love the snow days. I think it’s a time to refresh,” Williamson said. “It’s relaxing.”

Rowan-Salisbury Director of Instructional Programs Kelly Feimster took some time Thursday morning to relax and enjoy the snow

“I’m just like a kid,” she said. “I bet I have a hundred bird pictures on my camera right now getting ready to post to Facebook.”

While Felicia Young, a Math I teacher at Salisbury High School spent some time in the snow with her son Thursday morning, she spent the majority of her day working on a problem-based-learning, or PBL, project for her ninth grade students.

“When the kids left, we were doing a health and wellness PBL,” she said, explaining that the project allows her to combine math with a real-world health and wellness problem.

Young used her time off on Thursday to develop the instructions for the rest of the projects, which will require her students to use linear equations, slope and scatter plots while examining the nutritional information of McDonald’s Shamrock Shake.

She’s not neglecting her students on this snow day, either.

“With Rowan-Salisbury, we have been given the opportunity for students to have their digital devices at home,” she said, adding that she sent out an email asking if any of her students had ever had a Shamrock Shake.

Superintendent Dr. Lynn Moody said her snow day was anything but a day off.

Other than a quick break for lunch, she spent the entire day buzzing from one project to the next.

She said she participated in three conference calls and had answered at least 100 emails.

“Right now I’m getting ready to go to a meeting,” she added.

Feimster made some time for a webinar – something she was able to do from home using her school-issued laptop.

Williamson mixed work with play, as she and her fellow teachers spent the afternoon together.

“Of course we’re talking school,” she said.

Later on, they worked on a karaoke project designed to practice literacy skills.

“Teachers are constantly working,” she said. “I don’t feel like it’s forced.”

She added that working at home can be more productive than at school

“We don’t have the distractions,” she said. “You need that quiet time.”