By Jason Wesseldyk
You are appreciated.
That’s the message administrators from Otsego Public Schools and Plainwell Community Schools sent to teachers and staff members during Teacher Appreciation Week.
The week-long celebration ran from Monday, May 2, through Friday, May 6, and featured special gestures intended to let teachers and staff know how valued they truly are.
Otsego Public Schools superintendent Jeff Haase said it was especially important to recognize teachers and staff members following the challenges they’ve faced the past two years due to the COVID pandemic.
“On behalf of the Otsego Board of Education, we take this week to celebrate our staff and say ‘Thank you,’” Haase said. “Our staff members are extraordinary and have worked tirelessly throughout the past two years to make sure our student and family needs are being met.
“One week is not enough to recognize our staff as they should be recognized every day for the job they do.”
Plainwell Community School superintendent Matthew Montange shared similar sentiments about the teachers and staff in his district.
“We have an amazing staff here at Plainwell and I cannot say enough good things about the quality of people we have in our district,” he said. “The number one comment we receive as a district from parent surveys is that our staff is the strongest aspect of our district.
“We have creative people that love kids, go the extra mile for families and students and work as a team to provide the best education experience for all kids. Our staff is truly outstanding, and our district is a great place to learn and work because of their hard work and dedication to kids.”
Many parent groups in both districts provided meals and other goodies for teachers and staff throughout the week, among other surprises.
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was the driving force behind the first National Teacher Appreciation Day, when, in 1953, she pushed Congress to recognize the nation’s educators. In 1984, the National Parent Teacher Association successfully lobbied to have the day moved to the first Tuesday in May, with that entire week recognized as Teacher Appreciation Week.
“Since 1984, National PTA has designated one week in May as a special time to honor the individuals who lend their passion and skills to educating our children,” the National PTA said on its website. “PTA events at the national, state and local levels celebrate the outstanding contributions teachers make.”