Liberty County High School teachers were greeted with signs and cheers as they arrived for work Tuesday during National Teacher Appreciation Week. Tuesday was National Teacher Appreciation Day.
Soldiers from Fort Stewart’s 385th Military Police Battalion held up a banner that read "Teacher Appreciation Week" and other signs, as did with LCHS cheerleaders. They cheered, whistled, waved and gave thumbs-up to teachers.
The LCHS School Governance Team wanted to do something different to show teachers their support and appreciation. Myra Watson, an SGT parent member, coordinated the week’s activities.
"We did this to let teachers know that we appreciate them," Watson said. "The students expressed their appreciation for teachers and how their lives have been impacted. There’s been so many changes to the curriculum, and teachers have to do so much."
The cheer team held a small pep rally in the commons area.
"We’re doing something for everyone," SGT Chairman Michael Wilkinson said. "We want to make sure that every teacher receives something."
The week included breakfast for the teachers, a dedication for LCHS Teacher of the Year Yvonne Lambert, raffles and gift-card giveaways.
Wilkinson said the community donated items, such as gift cards, meals, oil changes and spa sessions.
Parent Jennifer Collier was also among the greeters. She said high school teachers, especially, do not receive enough recognition.
"High school is such an important transition age for students," she said. "I’m so thankful for what they’re doing and in investing in their lives."
Kathy Shutts, an economics and government teacher, said she was surprised when she saw the soldiers and cheerleaders.
"I had forgotten it was Teachers Appreciation Week after the long weekend," she said. "Your mind’s on getting prepared for the week ahead, then you have that nice greeting. It was fun — a nice surprise."
When asked how she felt about the idea of an appreciation week, Shutts said, "It’s kind of a little bit embarrassing to have attention on ourselves, but it’s the perfect time of year for it because we’re going into testing week. We’ve all put it out there, doing extra tutoring, teaching. … We’re all kind of exhausted at this point. We’re all going into that last push, so it’s nice to see that recognition and see we’re appreciated."
Shutts enjoyed seeing the soldiers. Her husband, who is a teacher at Bradwell, is retired from the military.
"It was so nice to have the soldiers involved too," she said. "So having them there waving and holding signs was nice as well. I was taken back by it all. I was really surprised."
She said nothing like that had been done since her time at Liberty High.