Boothbay Region Elementary and High School teacher, staff and administrators formed a parade March 30 to wave and say hello to students around the peninsula.
BRES Principal Shawna Kurr and BRHS interim principal Tricia Campbell led the parade on a CSD school bus decorated with hearts and the words: “WE MISS YOU.”
Said Kurr, “Seeing students, parents, grandparents, siblings, and community members waving and cheering back at us on this drizzly day, was incredibly touching. There were so many signs that people made thanking us. I was left speechless throughout the route. Tricia and I shared many moments looking at each other, across the bus, where we had to wipe back the tears. While this idea was created for our staff to show our students how much we miss them, it filled my heart with so much joy and happiness by seeing all of my little friends (and big friends).”
Campbell said the Teachers Parade is one more example of the love in the community and the moments during the ride have taught everyone not to underestimate the strengthening of social and familial bonds. “These experiences pull us close. As a community we reach outward in solidarity and show our kids that we will make it through these challenging times together … I was brought to tears throughout the experience as I waved at students, family members and citizens. We want our students to know that, even though we cannot be together at this time, we are here for them. We love our children and we love their families!”
BRHS art teacher Manon Lewis said over two hours of parading around the peninsula and seeing her students was uplifting to say the least. “The love and caring demonstrated by all involved truly warmed my heart on this damp and chilly day! My message for our students is: We miss you all so much! My message to parents is: Give yourself a pat on the back, you're doing great!”
BRES fourth grade teacher Kathy Hartley said she was in tears for the first 10 to 15 minutes and thought she might have to pull over and regain her composure. “Seeing that this is my final year of teaching has made this so, so difficult to accept the likelihood that this is how my career will end: not being with my students and missing them so very much. Today seeing the smiles and waves of all those students and families was just the perfect dose of positive medicine that I so desperately needed as well as our world.”
Pre-K teacher Kate Rice, on maternity leave, was also in the parade to wave and say hi to some of her former students. Rice said she and the teachers and staff were likely as excited to participate in the parade as students and family were. “The schools really want the kids to know that we are all in this together and that we love them. Hopefully this morning will help any student, parent, or teacher get through if they are having a tough day or week.”