‘Safety meeting’ is really surprise appreciation for teachers (from June printed newspaper)

COLONIAL PLAYGROUND — Principal Tonya Wilson announced over the loudspeaker on May 10 that there was going to be a safety town meeting outside on the playground. But secretly it was a surprise teacher appreciation meeting that only the kids and Mrs. Wilson knew about.

Third graders Ella Miller, Maya Spunberg, Tisya Sharme and Malia McLellan helped Mrs. Wilson by interviewing other students on what they thought about their teachers.

Ella and Tisya (3L) talked to the Colonial Times. They said, “It sounded easy, but it wasn’t so easy. For example, we had to get the students who liked the teachers and who had been with them so we would get a nice quote for each teacher. Overall it was challenging.”

“When we were chosen, we felt excited and important,” said Maya (3L). “It was really fun!”

Some of it was hard work. Malia (3L) said, “Some people were hard to deal with. It was a great experience.”

At the beginning of the meeting, Miriam Ciacca (5H) sang a song about teacher appreciation week. Music teacher Pamela Jacovina played her ukulele. Everyone applauded like a madhouse at the end because it was really touching to all the teachers and it was also something that involved a lot of courage.

After the amazing experience, Miriam said, “I was really scared when I was about to sing, but when I started singing, I felt confident.”

After the singing, the students that had been interviewed by Ella, Malia, Tisya and Maya got their quote back on a red piece of paper and read it to the whole school into the microphone.

Mrs. Wilson came up with the idea of doing the surprise town meeting. “I wanted to think of a way that all of the kids could thank the adults for what they’ve done.”

The teachers were delighted.

Fifth grade teacher Alex Ventura said, “I thought the surprise was very sweet, and it was the best part of the day because it was from students.”

First grade teacher Kathryn Castellano said, “It was a huge surprise, and I loved every second of it.”

This story appeared in the June print edition of the Colonial Times.