It’s the last day of school. We have thanked the administrators and secretaries for the year-long efforts to keep the lights on, the programs running and balance the well-being of their staff, their parents and their students.
We have thanked our teachers and support personnel for giving our children the foundation of a fabulous education, the emotional support to get through 2nd period and how to maintain their balance on the beam. They have received holiday presents, Valentines, and according to Bridget ate her cupcakes.
We have thanked the office staff and the nursing staff who healed the boo-boo and let our children call home when they needed. We have remembered them on teacher appreciation day, administrative professional day and on nurses week.
There are a few groups we often forget to show our appreciation.
First to the Custodian and Maintenance personnel who not only clean up more messes than the Animal Control Officer, you have helped more tweens open their locker (and again when they forgot how). You have swept the floors, washed the windows and made helped every PTA member with whatever fundraiser/event they were running. You have answered countless questions by the kindergartner and put up with the attitude of the senior in high school.
Second to the Grounds personnel who made sure the field at Homecoming was as beautiful as at Graduation. You who have plowed our parking lots and shoveled our walkways so that our children and staff could enter the school without mishap. You have fixed first base after vandals and after the home run. You have helped the more than one class plant a garden, you have kept the playgrounds safe and the bleachers ready for the fans.
Next to the Cafeteria worker who has made sure my child didn’t just eat ice cream for lunch they days that they bought, but encouraged her to try a turkey sandwich. You have helped the elementary child navigate the lunch room and the middle school child experience independence by sitting “wherever they want”. You have provided breakfast to those who would have to go without and kept the the long lunch line moving with a smile.
Last, but most certainly least, is the bus driver. The bus driver who greets the kindergarten student on the first day of school with patience for the mom who is about to burst into tears as she takes “just one more” photo. The bus driver who deals with obnoxious drivers who tailgate and try to drive around their vessel as they wait for a child to cross the road. The bus driver who greets the “oh so over it, when do I get my license” teenager with the same smile and greeting as the first grader who is so excited to be on the “big bus”. You have been in accidents, only to put the safety of your students first. Getting them safely off the bus like it is a drill and not the scariest moment of your career. You do your best to prevent bullying. Separating when needed, negotiating teen truces and re-establishing friendships. You create sitting dance and sing-a-long parties to commemorate the important dates: the first day of winter break, someone’s birthday and the most important last day of school.
The teacher, the principal and the educational support staff are the face of our district. You, the custodian, the maintenance person, the groundskeeper, the cafeteria worker and the bus driver, are the backbone of our children’s educational experience. We would be lost without you. All of you: the Principal, the Teacher, the Educational Support Staff, the Secretary, the Custodian, the Maintenance, the Grounds person, the Cafeteria worker and the Bus Driver. Together, all of you, make our district proud.
Thank you, everyone of you, for the care you show our students.