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Rowan Partners in Learning to host ‘Love Your Teacher’ dinner

SALISBURY — Following the success of last year’s inaugural “Love Your Teacher” dinner, Rowan Partners in Learning will more another one at West End Plaza from 6 to 8 p.m. May 7.

The celebration, presented by Novant and F&M Bank, will feature an Academy Awards theme meant to help each teacher feel like a star.

Fitting, since it will be held during Teacher Appreciation Week.

The dinner is the main fundraiser for Rowan Partners for Education, a nonprofit funding board for Rowan-Salisbury Schools.  The board makes mini-grants two times a year to “reward teachers with innovative teaching practices with tools for their classrooms,” said board member Susan Steele.

During the dinner, select teachers and their guests will be treated to a free meal. Students nominated teachers for the treat by submitting one-minute videos explaining why they love their teacher, how their teacher has impacted their life, and what the teacher has helped them discover about themselves.

The videos were reviewed at the school, and the top three were sent to a Rowan Partners for Education committee that chose the top video and winning educator.

Steele said she feels strongly that video submissions this year were “even better than last year’s videos.”

“Some videos were cute, and others touched my heart as I realized that these teachers have gotten students through some really rough times,” she said. “It makes you realize these teachers do more than teach. For some students, they are a rock and an anchor in difficult times in their lives.”

Last year, two teachers from each school and a guest received a free meal. The competition tightens this year, as only one winner from each school and a guest will receive free tickets.

Chef Santos will cater the dinner as before.

“Last year’s event was a huge success and was so empowering for our teachers,” said Steele. “It was a wonderful night to watch our students say thank you to our outstanding educators. The 300 attendees laughed and cried as we watched videos from kindergartners to high school seniors.”

Individual tickets may be purchased for $50, and table sponsorships are $500. The sponsorships include two free tickets.

According to Steele, Rowan Partners for Education is still searching for businesses that will join Novant and F&M to sponsor the dinner. Sponsor cards will be placed on table representing all of Rowan-Salisbury’s 34 schools, with the school’s selected winner, his or her guest and an administrator from that school seated at each.

“It is our hope that our businesses will join with us and spend an evening to honor teachers who impact our students and ultimately our community,” said Steele, “It is my goal that every single school in the Rowan-Salisbury system can walk into the West End Plaza on May 7 and see a sponsor card on their table from a business in their community.”

Anyone who would like to sponsor a table or purchase a ticket should email twalser@rowanchamber.com.  Reservations must be made by April 26.

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