Educator tribute set next week

Published 10:07 pm Thursday, April 24, 2014

An event next Saturday will pay tribute to the people in the Suffolk Public Schools system, its organizer says.

“This whole concept is just a way to say thank you to every individual that makes our school system successful and makes our students successful,” said Pastor Charles Leavell of Open Hands Christian Fellowship Church.

The event is set for May 3 at King’s Fork High School at 351 Kings Fork Road. All Suffolk Public Schools employees are invited to the event, which features refreshments at 5 p.m. and the program starting at 6 p.m.

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The event will include remarks from Superintendent Deran Whitney, speeches from people who have been touched by Suffolk Public Schools and a teacher talking about the joy of teaching, as well as musical selections.

A tribute to educators across the nation who have put themselves in harm’s way and lost their lives to protect students, during events such as school shootings and natural disasters, will also take place during the service.

“We don’t give enough tribute to our teachers,” Leavell said. “They do more than just teach. We have a very wonderful evening planned to pay tribute to our educational system.”

Leavell hopes to pack the gymnasium with students and parents to honor the school employees. Those who cannot attend are encouraged to write notes of appreciation on

“We’re hoping we’ll have a response from every resident in the city of Suffolk,” Leavell said.

Leavell has hand-delivered invitations to schools and administrative offices, he said.

“As I was going about, I would see the people trimming up the yards, school bus drivers getting the kids back and forth to school safely … it’s not just exclusively for teachers. It is for the complete school system.”

Suffolk News-Herald Editor Res Spears will be master of ceremonies of the event.

For more information on the event, call Leavell at 692-9740.