Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Photo Credit: Strawbridge Studios

Teachers play such a special and important role in the daily lives of students. Parents, grandparents, and guardians send their children to school and entrust teachers to prepare their child, academically, for the real world. At the end of the school year, students know why a2+b2=c2 and they know that the formula can only be used for a right triangle. They know all the steps to writing an essay. They can recite the states and capitols. Students may even be able to fill in the missing parts of the Periodic Table.

But, their unofficial roles and responsibilities don’t end there. Teachers also provide support and teaching for things that cannot be measured by any type of test or grade. They provide a safe environment for students to not only learn, but to talk about real life issues and challenges they may be facing. They extend extra grace and support to the student who is struggling at home. They show up on the weekends or after school to support students in extracurricular activities. They are the reason a parent gets to witness their once timid child now recite their part of the class play with such confidence. They teach their students the importance of responsibility and perseverance and help build their confidence. They are their biggest cheerleader.

So, though teachers should be celebrated every day, we observe this week as National Teacher Appreciation Week, and more specifically, today, Tuesday, May 5, as National Teacher Appreciation Day! In celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week, the Alamance Chamber wants to thank all teachers for their dedication to our students and future leaders. They quickly adapted to ensure learning continued during this challenging time and have gone to great lengths to support students from a distance.

We recognize, more than ever, that teachers are the real superheroes. In a short amount of time, they were forced to reinvent what classroom teaching looks like to ensure students continue learning and will be prepared for the following year. While teachers are learning how to move forward with their lesson plans in our current state, we see examples all over the country as well as right here in Alamance County of teachers going above and beyond in order to show students they care and support them. We’ve witnessed drive-by parades in our local neighborhoods, so students could see their teachers and school staff from their driveways. Principals and teachers made special trips to students’ homes in an effort to make seniors feel special when nothing else in their senior year is going as planned.

I recently read this quote:

I will teach you in a room. I will teach you now on Zoom.
I will teach you in a house. I will teach you with a mouse.
I will teach you here or there. I will teach because I care.

I think this sums up what teachers are doing and why they are doing it.

The Chamber is proud to sponsor the Excellence in Education Awards Program, which would typically be held, today, in honor of Teacher Appreciation Day. Sadly, our current circumstances have forced us to postpone the event. Though we are not able to gather to celebrate all our Teacher of the Year nominees, we want to recognize the 2020 Teacher of the Year finalists:

  • Joshua Lopez, Ray Street Academy
  • Melissa Madison, A.O. Elementary School
  • Elizabeth Nall, Clover Garden School
  • Kelly Poquette, E.M. Yoder Elementary School
  • Stuart Ringwalt, Walter Williams High School
  • Sherri Singer, Alamance Community College
  • Sarah Snyder, South Graham Elementary School
  • Mary Strickland, E.M. Holt Elementary School

We look forward to recognizing all Teacher of the Year nominees as well as announcing the 2020 Teacher of the Year at the Excellence in Education Awards Program on the new date, Tuesday, August 18!

To the community – I encourage you to show your appreciation to teachers, this week. Whether it be a quick email or a letter and gift card, I encourage you to do it, because every single one of us owe many, many, thank yous to our teachers for helping us get to where we are, now.

Again, teachers, we thank you for your dedication – we appreciate all you do!


Jenna Heydt

Director of Workforce and
Leadership Development