Gratitude, gifts, and appreciation were bestowed upon OES faculty and staff this week as the school celebrated Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week.
"Thank you, to all the teachers at school," one second-grader said at recess. "They make school fun, and I learn a lot."
Lower School Teacher Appreciation Co-chairs Kendra Zupan and Miki MacArthur coordinated the delivery of 95 succulent plants—with beautiful cards designed by parent Melissa Harder—to teachers and staff on behalf of Lower School families and Parent Partnership.
"I have been incredibly impressed with the teachers and staff's ability to engage with children in new ways," Zupan said. "Many teachers and staff members have found themselves in new roles at the school. My children were able to connect and receive support from many mentors and teachers beside their homeroom teacher."
In addition to the plants, "Kudoboards" were emailed to all teachers, assistants, and administrators, lunch staff, and facilities team members. "Kudoboards" are digital thank you’s with videos, drawings, photos, and notes of gratitude.
"Seeing the notes from teachers in response to the Kudoboards and plants has been really moving," said Lower School Parent Partnership member Kate Fox.
Some of the behind-the-scenes heroes of OES were shown appreciation, too. The All-School Parent Partnership gifted the Bon Appetit staff in the dining hall with bundt cakes from Nothing Bundt Cakes and flowering plants from Sammy’s Florist.
"This amazing group of 11 folks, under the guidance of [Bon Appetit General Manager] Beth LaFond, have been working tirelessly to provide nutritious sack lunches to students every single day," All-School Parent Partnership Chair Michelle Tubbs said. "Our children are nurtured in so many ways, not only by their teachers but also by the kitchen staff who fuel our children each and every day. Beth and her team, despite the challenging circumstances, have done a spectacular job, and we are so grateful!"
Middle and Upper School teachers and staff also weren’t forgotten. Students and Head of Middle School Ann Sulzer got into the action, too, gifting faculty and staff flowers, sweets, and thank you notes.
"I greatly appreciate the creativity that our teachers have shown during online and hybrid learning to connect with students," Upper School Community Board member Sylvie B. ‘22 said. "Not only are they putting their own health and the health of their families at risk, but they have to face reduced class time, unfamiliar digital platforms, and the difficult task of engaging teenagers on Zoom."
Sylvie is assembling care packages this weekend to show the Upper School students' admiration for the facilities and maintenance teams.
"People on our maintenance team are continuing to create a safe, healthy, and comfortable environment for learning, despite the challenges of Covid-19," Sylvie continued. "Hopefully, we can all spend some time this week acknowledging the work of adults in our community that provide a safe and supportive platform for our education. Every week should be faculty and staff appreciation week!"
Added Upper School Student Body President Charlie H. '21: "I appreciate OES teachers and staff for working overtime to maintain learning and the school community through a difficult year. From the people in front of me in the classroom to those working behind the scenes to keep our school running, my OES experience would not have been the same without the care and hard work of teachers and staff."