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Newtown High School PTSA And Reed Intermediate School PTA Celebrate Educators For Teacher Appreciation Week



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Both Newtown High School PTSA and Reed Intermediate School PTA celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week, which ran from May 6 to May 10, with a wide variety of events for their respective schools.

Teacher Appreciation Week is an annual national holiday celebrated on the first full week of May and honors educators for their hard work in guiding and supporting their students.

Every year, students, family, and other community members do their part in letting teachers know how appreciated they are, and NHS PTSA and RIS PTA are no different.

According to NHS PTSA Secretary Kathleen Shope, they work hard every year to celebrate teachers because they “truly appreciate what our teachers do.”

“I’m just so happy that we can make them happy,” Shope said. “It’s really one of the reasons I do what I do, because they make a difference in everyone’s lives and it’s a very difficult job. They don’t always get the love they deserve, so we have to do what we can to support them.”

Both NHS PTSA and Reed PTA members wanted to do something special for this year’s Teacher Appreciation Week. To that end, both groups were excited to set up various events throughout the week for everyone to enjoy.

For the high school, one of these events was a special raffle for teachers and staff held on Wednesday, May 8. Shope said she went around and gathered donations from different local merchants and vendors, ranging from hair salons and nail salons to restaurants and grocers.

NHS PTSA wrapped all of the gifts and set them up throughout an entire room. In front of each gift was a corresponding bag, where if anyone was interested in that gift, they would drop in a raffle ticket. There were about 60 gifts in total according to Shope, including a gym membership, gift cards, manicures, pedicures, and bottles of wine.

Then on Thursday, May 9, NHS PTSA set up a make-your-own salad bar for all NHS staff members to enjoy. The last event they planned to round off Teacher Appreciation Week was an ice cream sundae bar on Friday, May 10. Staff could stop by and make their own ice cream sundae, with whatever flavor or toppings they wanted.

The table for the NHS ice cream social was decorated with flowers and several ice cream toppings, including chocolate syrup, chocolate sprinkles, whipped cream, and more. In addition to plain chocolate and vanilla ice cream, there was also a vegan option. Several NHS PTSA members helping out with the event sported colored aprons for the occasion.

For the intermediate school, they kicked off Teacher Appreciation Week with a special breakfast from Uncle Matt’s Bakery and Cafe in Sandy Hook. The local bakery sent over different types of baked goods, including rolls, muffins, plain and seasoned bagels, and more. RIS PTA set them up on several trays in the teacher’s lounge, alongside small containers of cream cheese and butter.

They followed that event with a grab-and-go candy and snack bar. There were many different types of snacks, from chewy chocolate candy like Snaps to fluffy bagged popcorn like Smartfood, perched in several baskets by the window of the teacher’s lounge.

RIS students also showed support for their teachers on Teacher Appreciation Week. Many fifth and sixth grade students wrote kind, supportive messages on two big banners, one for each grade. The banners feature a bright orange sun at the bottom and say, “Thank you for helping us shine.” These banners were eventually hung up in the teacher’s lounge for everyone to see their students’ support.

RIS PTA finished off Teacher Appreciation Week at the school ice cream social event of their own on Friday, May 10. The ice cream, courtesy of Holy Cow Ice Cream Shop, came in several flavors, including vanilla, chocolate, and mint oreo, alongside mango as a non-dairy option.

Holy Cow also provided RIS PTA with some ice cream scoops to borrow for the special event. Teachers could walk up to the table and have their ice cream of choice scooped for them by RIS PTA members, and they could choose whatever toppings they wanted, including chocolate sauce, chopped walnuts, cherries, and more.

RIS PTA volunteer Jessica Galterio, who was also the chair of the group’s Teacher Appreciation Week Committee, said that the events were the culmination of RIS PTA’s hard work throughout the year and that it felt great to see teachers feel appreciated and loved.

“We really just wanted to shower them with appreciation,” Galterio said. “You have to lead with your heart if you’re a teacher, and it’s just been so amazing to say thank you.”

Reporter Jenna Visca can be reached at jenna@thebee.com.

NHS PTSA members, including volunteer Rebecca Fung (left), Co-President Madhuri Jerfy, Co-President Melissa Beylouni, Secretary Kathleen Shope, volunteer Shannon Bowen, volunteer Kristen Renzi, volunteer Karen Fowler, and Treasurer Julia Crisci (not pictured), finished off Teacher Appreciation Week by running an ice cream social on Friday, May 10. Teachers could stop by during the event to make their own sundae using whatever flavor or toppings they wanted. —Bee Photo, Visca
RIS PTA members, including Vice President Priscilla Martinez (left), and volunteers Sheila Miller, Jessica Galterio, and Mary Sanville also capped off Teacher Appreciation Week at their school with an ice cream social on Friday, May 10. The ice cream, courtesy of Holy Cow Ice Cream Shop, also came in several flavors, including vanilla, chocolate, mint oreo, and mango. The ice cream joint also let RIS PTA borrow some ice cream scoops for the special event.
RIS physical education teacher Aaron Blank (left), RIS art teacher Michelle Ginand, and RIS PTA Vice President Priscilla Martinez share a laugh together as Ginand picks out toppings for her ice cream.
NHS PTSA also celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week by setting up a raffle. NHS PTSA Secretary Kathleen Shope went around and got donations from various local vendors and merchants. These donations were put into around 60 raffle bags to give away. —photo courtesy NHS PTSA
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