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RSS celebrates Teacher Appreciation Week during closure

By Carl Blankenship
carl.blankenship@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — This is Teacher Appreciation Week and the fact that schools are closed has not stopped Rowan-Salisbury Schools from taking time to show the county’s teachers, who are still working amid the shutdown, they are loved.

Isenberg Elementary School Principal Marvin Moore said teachers are working harder than ever to make sure students are still learning from home, putting in extra hours to connect with them.

Isenberg has a full week of programming, creating postcards for teachers, a collage of students, administration appreciation videos for each grade and gift cards for all staff.

“They’re worth it,” Moore said. “The teaching profession is the foundation of every profession.”

Moore said teachers are already overworked and underpaid, and the pandemic has required even more of them. Isenberg normally does even more during the week, but is sticking to social distancing.

“Words would not be able to express how proud I am of our staff and how honored I am to get to work with our employees every day,” Superintendent Lynn Moody said. “They’ve been courageous and bold, and they’ve not been afraid to lead and take risks. That may seem uncomfortable at times, but they do it for the benefit of students.”

Carson also had a week of programing, creating a sign for teachers, virtual lunch dates, creating art for teachers and students being given the option to tell teachers what they admire about them anonymously.

Schools throughout the district have been giving thanks internally, creating appreciation videos for teachers and posting about the week on social media.

Knox Middle School created a unique way to celebrate teachers by mailing them packets of flower seeds with a botanical message.

“We are so thankful for everything you do to help us and our students Grow,” the message reads. “In spite of the challenges we have faced this year, you continue to Blossom and Leaf lasting impressions on our community. Your contributions are Plant-iful, and we can’t imagine a school without a teacher like you. You Ex-seed our expectations! Merci Bouquet, Knox Administration.”

Knox Assistant Principal Jaime Pacillio said she found the idea on a Facebook group for principals, and she sent out an assortment of seeds.

Knox Principal Michael Courtwright said the school did not want the week to go by without at least doing something for its teachers.

East Rowan Principal Tonya German said the East community schools, including the high school, have been showing appreciation virtually throughout the week, and at the beginning of next week all the staff at those schools will be provided with a meal for themselves and their families from Debbie Suggs Catering. Those schools are Granite Quarry, Morgan, Rockwell and Shive elementary schools, Erwin Middle School and ERHS.

Gov. Roy Cooper has announced plans to begin rolling back pandemic restrictions on Monday and the meals will be picked up via drive-thru.

German said the schools always want to show appreciation teachers and all the staff at the schools.

“During this time of virtual and remote learning, we just have to think differently about how we say and show our thanks,” German said. I think it’s little things like sending out handwritten notes in the mail that have been able to make a big difference to them, because we know our teachers are probably working even harder than normal.”

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