As each of Holy Rosary Catholic School's 15 teachers and 10 staff members drove slowly into the school parking lot on Friday afternoon, past a lineup of about 30 cars filling the lot from one end to the other, they were greeted with horns honking, cheers, applause, and even a clanging cowbell or two.
Signs around the parking lot were colorfully decorated with messages like "Thank You Teachers," "We Love You," and "Big Hearts Shape Little Minds."
As each vehicle approached the main entrance, the driver would roll down the windows, and one of the small group of people gathered around the school entrance would greet them with a smile and a small gift. Some also received flowers, balloons and other tokens of affection from their students.
It was all part of a national Teacher Appreciation Week event that was put together by the Holy Rosary Parent-Teacher Organization. According to organizer Carrie Tobkin, each teacher or staff member was gifted with an insulated tumbler engraved with the Holy Rosary School logo, as well as some treats and a gift card to a local restaurant.
"We were able to purchase the tumblers from The Trophy House and the gift cards from Hub 41," said Tobkin. "It worked out nicely that we were able to support some local businesses in the process of gifting our teachers."
It was the first time that many of the teachers and students had seen each other in person since the state-mandated school shutdown on March 17. Since then, the teachers have been instructing Holy Rosary's 138 enrolled students remotely.
Just as it is for their public school counterparts, Wednesday, May 13 is the last day of school for Holy Rosary staff and students. Teacher Appreciation Week was May 4-8.