Appreciation planned for District 73 teachers and staff
Students, parents and the PTO in Vernon Hills-based Hawthorn Elementary District 73 plan to show teachers and staff they are appreciated with a series of actions next week.
Because school buildings throughout Illinois remain closed under state directives to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the manner in which the appreciation will be shown will be different from in previous years but no less heartfelt, organizers said.
"I think they are working harder and there is just so much love for them in this community like you've never seen before," said Wendy Elman, Hawthorn PTO president.
"There is a fierce loyalty, love and appreciation for this group of people," she added.
Superintendent Peter Hannigan will start the week Monday with a fun video message to teachers.
On Tuesday, the PTO has asked parents to email their children's teachers and any other staff they want to thank for their work.
Wednesday will be the same, except students, with the help of their parents, will send notes, pictures, video clips, drawings and whatever else "to show them the love," Elman said.
The PTO also is assembling a video to send teachers with a virtual gift card and thank-you letter on Thursday, and plans to do something more in fall when everyone returns.
"Even more now, we want to show appreciation for the teachers," Elman said. "They've gone above and beyond."
And, for Friday the district office will purchase a small gift for teachers to be presented in the fall. Administrators will send a video or letter to all staff with an attached photo of the gift. Remote learning will end an hour early.