Teachers treated to Cinco de Mayo lunch

Published 8:58 pm Friday, May 5, 2017

Suffolk parents expressed gratitude towards their students’ teachers with a delicious lunch on Friday.

John Yeates Middle School staff received a Cinco De Mayo fiesta buffet on Friday. The lunch was organized by the JYMS Parent Teacher Student Association as part of Teacher Appreciation Week.

PTSA president Courtney Wolfe said all the mothers on the PTSA board wanted to do something as impressive as when they remodeled the teacher’s lounge last year.

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“We needed to do something nice and big for the teachers this year,” Wolfe said.

The board had to provide enough food for the 130 school staff members, including teachers, teacher assistants, office staff, custodians and cafeteria workers. Forty Chipotle burritos were provided at the lunch, along with fajitas, chips, cookies and beverages.

“It’s very generous,” said French teacher Stephan Klepatzki.

Staff also received raffle tickets for an assortment of prizes. Parents and community members donated 60 gifts for the Friday raffle, ranging from gift cards to Buffalo Wild Wings and Ninja Japanese Steakhouse to massages at Massage Envy in Harbour View.

Eighth-grade English teacher Renee Clark wanted to win crafting supplies.

“I’m hoping to win either Creative Memories or Stampin’ Up,” Clark said.

The board had shown appreciation to staff throughout the week. On Tuesday, they cut 100 pounds of fresh fruit and packaged them into tiny cups, which were served to the staff with Chick-fil-A biscuits.

“That was great,” Clark said. “I love Chick-fil-A. It was a nice surprise.”

All staff were given burgundy portfolios for their papers on Wednesday, and M&Ms on Thursday that said how much they were appreciated on the packaging.

Wolfe said the PTSA spent roughly $1,100 on breakfast and lunch during the week for the staff.

“We can only do this with parents who step up and help,” she said.

She said the teachers at JYMS were “hard-working, dedicated public servants.”

“They don’t even get a break to eat lunch in a quiet place,” she said. “They spend their entire day with the students, and they deserve a little bit of fun in their working day.”

Clark, for example, builds relationships with her students to help them succeed.

“I really get to know them,” she said. “There’s much more to them than just academics. If you show them that you care, it reflects back in their work.”

JYMS assistant principal Wendy VanHosen said the commitment of the teachers is evident in the time they spend teaching after school, and the efforts they make throughout the day to reach the students.

“They are dedicated to meeting the needs of every student in this building,” VanHosen said. “They’re willing to go above the call of duty to make sure they learn as best as they can.”