Teachers saluted by CCISD students and staff

Special to Leader-Press 


In 1953, Eleanor Roosevelt persuaded the 81st Congress to proclaim National Teachers’ Day.  In 1985, the National PTA established Teacher Appreciation Week as the first full week of May. Copperas Cove ISD administrators, students and parents across the district reached out to show their support for teachers who have become integrated into many families’ homes through online lessons through Zoom, Schoology, and Safe You Tube. 

Third grade teacher Christina Newberry was selected as Hettie Halstead’s 2020 Teacher of the Year and has been teaching in CCISD for four years. She said being appreciated makes her feel empowered to keep doing what she is called to do and reinforces her purpose.

“We do our job because we love kids, because it is our calling. There is a deep sense of gratitude when we find that others truly see, all of the big things and the little things, and appreciate those actions enough to say, ‘Thank you. Wow, you really are doing a great job,” Newberry said. “It is vital to have the backing of our school. But, it is our heart to have the backing of our students. Making those connections with our students is initially more valuable than any book-teaching because when we really make that connection, when we are their safe place, our students will learn and thrive in ways that others could never imagine.”

Clements/Parsons Elementary Principal Katherine Baney planned a week of activities where teachers were rewarded with hand-written notes and videos of appreciation, pizza, and small gifts. 

“It is important to me to always recognize the hard work and dedication of teachers, not only during teacher appreciation week, but throughout the school year,” Baney said. “Whether it be through a shout out email to the campus bragging on one of my teachers, monthly teacher recognition awards, or a hand-written note expressing my thanks, all teachers deserve to be recognized for their efforts. Teachers are the heart of schools. They put in countless hours to include weekends, holidays, and summer break. Teachers are shaping our future. Teachers are superheroes.”

A yard display in front of Hettie Halstead Elementary expresses the sentiment that teachers are more than just role models for students as the sign reads, “Heroes Work Here.” Principal Billie Diaz says teachers do so much for students that most people never see or even hear about. 

“Those of us in the education field know that our teachers’ day does not end when the students leave. Our teachers work late into the evenings and on weekends. They spend most of their summer looking for ways to make improvements for the next school year,” Diaz said. “Teachers pour so much of their heart and soul into their students. They are shaping the little minds that will someday be running our beautiful country. I think they all deserve so much more than we are able to give them.”

The sentiments of appreciation are even more welcome this year as both teachers and students are missing seeing each other daily in the classroom. Fairview/Miss Jewell Elementary teacher Teresa Gorres says she is grateful to be able to communicate daily with students and parents. 

“It is important that we keep the bond and connection that we have and it has been possible to do through Schoology Conference as well as Google Voice. Being able to still see my students and teach lessons virtually, as well as hearing their stories about their day is so important to me,” Gorres said. “The emails and video clips I received from my students as well as drawings that they dropped off with their academic packets or just a small token to show their appreciation makes me feel so blessed.”

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