Hillsboro teachers wondering what their students think of them did not have to look farther than the front doors to the high school/middle school building this week.
As part of Teacher Appreciation Week, two school secretaries, with help from others, planned a plethora of activities to let teachers know they make a difference. One of the activities gave students the opportunity to write short messages to specific teachers, and hundreds of them were posted on the front entrance to the building.
One note addressed to Mr. Domitor read: “He is an amazing teacher and he doesn’t put his opinions or beliefs into his teaching and he doesn’t make fun of his students or single them out and helps you with any issue you have.”
Another to Mrs. Kayne read: “Everytime I’ve had a problem she has helped me, no matter how silly I think it is.”
One to Mr. Cowan read: “He listens to me and whenever he sees me in the hallway he asks how my day was and he always says hey. He helps me with my problems if I need it.”
The week’s activities were organized by high school building secretary Angie Juillerat and middle school building secretary Julie Wertsbaugh.
“I saw several teachers become very emotional because of what a student had written down,” Juillerat said. “I heard one teacher say, ‘I didn’t know that student felt that way about me.’”
She said that after realizing Teacher Appreciation Week was coming up, she approached high school principal Jason Snively and informed him the school had not recognized the week for a while, asked Wertsbaugh about it, received approval from the school administration, and it all took off from there.
“Our teachers have been testing for weeks. It was kind of winding down the morale and was a little gloomy and we wanted everyone to know we appreciate what they’re doing,” Wertsbaugh said. “And it’s because we love our staff. We have a great staff.”
On Monday, the school served the teachers breakfast and Holtfield Station donated coffee.
On Tuesday, the Hillsboro Bible Baptist Church supplied a dinner for the entire high school and middle school staff.
On Wednesday, when school lets out an hour early for teaching meetings, instead of attending the meetings the teachers were treated to banana splits with all sorts of toppings. There was a dodge ball tournament between the teachers and students that served as a fundraiser for the middle school, and the teachers received gift cards to Holtfield courtesy of the school board.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Maher Medical Message provided free 10-minute messages for any staff member.
On Thursday, Western and Southern provided lunch for the staff and the secretaries made desserts, and on Friday the school provided a candy and popcorn bar.
The National Junior Honor Society kept the teachers’ work room filled with cookies all week, the administration kept the refrigerators in the room full of beverages, the office aides made large signs in support of the teachers to hang in each schools’ hallway, and there were raffles for teacher gifts each day.
“People don’t always know everything the teachers do,” said Wertsbaugh, mentioning numerous projects teachers work on behind the scenes to help students. “They go above and beyond the call of duty.”
Following is a small sampling of some of the other notes students left for teachers:
• Mr Rich – “He never stopped telling me to do my work when I didn’t want to do it, and he listened to all my problems.”
• Libby McNeal – “Teaching us life lessons and making sure we have what we need in life.”
• Mrs. Haines – “You care about your students. You are very selfless.”
• Mrs. Smith – “You always went out of your way to make sure students had the support and care they needed, even if it didn’t pertain to school.”
• Mrs. Vangroll – “She teaches like the best teacher I have ever had. And she is super sweet and will help you with anything you need.”
• Coach Hey – “He’s always there for his students and will do anything for his students to learn.”
• Mrs. Pohlman – “He helped me when I was feeling down and always asks how my day is.”
Other business that donated items during the week include: Highland Family Eye Care, Hometown Woodwerks & More, Amrstrong Graphics, Dairy Queen, S & K Dairy Cup, Lowell’s Landscapes, Timberlane Sporting Goods, Tux and Tan and Little Caesers Pizza.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.