HOPE – The Hope Public Schools and the Hope community recognized classroom teachers and faculty in a variety of activities May 3-7 in observance of Teacher Appreciation Week.
HPS Superintendent Dr. Bobby Hart set the tone for the week.
“We are all grateful for the compassion, care and effort ALL of our teachers have put into this and every school year,” Dr. Hart said. “They are tremendous professionals, and on behalf of the Hope Public Schools Board of Education, I want to say… ‘Thank You.’”
Recognition was also sent from Washington, D.C., in the form of a letter and copy of remarks from the floor of the U. S. Senate by Senator John Boozman, R-Ar., as reflected in the Congressional Record.
“As we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, it is clear that educators are in a class by themselves when it comes to resilience,” Senator Boozman said. “Over the last 12 months, they have shown us what it means to be selfless and brave at a time when both were critically necessary.”
Boozman narrowed his remarks to the innovation by Arkansas teachers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am especially proud of teachers in Arkansas who rose to the challenge of leading classes 100 percent virtually for the first time and then embraced re-opening our schools in August 2020,” he said. “The sudden transition to virtual learning was an extraordinary hurdle as educators had to learn new technology and new teaching techniques overnight… When we look back at the heroes of this tumultuous time, it is clear that teachers will be among those we honor as our society’s most valuable players.”
The entire text of Boozman’s remarks are posted on the HPS website at www.hpsdistrict.org online.
Community recognition during the week included participation by McDonald’s of Hope in its Teacher Appreciation Day giveaway of a drink of choice to teachers throughout the day on May 3.
The Hope Rotary Club honored teachers on May 7 in a special project by the local organization, naming all Hope Public Schools teachers as the club’s Teachers of the Year. Rotarians convened on each campus of the HPS to present each teaching faculty member with a yard sign designating him/her as Rotary Teacher of the Year. The club will also provide each teacher with a gift certificate to Tailgater’s Restaurant.
The Hope Public Schools Board of Education and administration recognized teachers during the week with a special lunch at Hope High School on Monday, Beryl Henry Elementary School on Tuesday, Yerger Middle School/Creative Action Team School on Wednesday, Clinton Primary School on Thursday and Hope Academy of Public Service on Friday.
HAPS offered Nacho Average Teacher/Staff (Monday), nacho treats; Thanks a-latte (Tuesday), free lattes; Propelling Kindness Through Teaching (Wednesday); Dress Like the Superhero You Are/We Are Popping with Pride (Thursday), costumes and popcorn; and HPS/Rotary Celebrate Teachers (Friday).
The celebration of the front lines of public education has its roots in an effort by Arkansas teacher Mattye White Woodridge who undertook a personal campaign to create a national recognition of classroom teachers in 1944. After almost a decade of work on the state and national level, and prodding by Eleanor Roosevelt, Congress later adopted a Teacher Appreciation Day in 1953. The modern observance of Teacher Appreciation Week was eventually fostered by the National Education Association.