--Parents thank Symmes-D’Arcy teachers with appreciation parade
As a show of appreciation to Symmes and D’Arcy McGee high school teachers’ hard work and dedication to keep educating students during the pandemic, a group of local parents organized a parade at the school on February 25.
Organized by Sherry-Lynn Daley, Jennifer Murray, Liliane Hajjaar, Pamela Birkett, and Trina Keon, the parade saw 50-some people in more around 20 horn-honking vehicles - some with colourful signs and balloons – and a couple of police escort cars cruising down the street from the intersection of Katimavik and Seto towards the school parking lot with a banner reading “In honour of your hard work and dedication”. All the while, large crowds of students stood outside the around the perimeter of the school looking at the float and enjoying fresh air. According to Daley, explained that the initiative was put together after gas leak in science lab at the school forced everyone to evacuate from the building a few weeks ago.
Impressed by how splendidly the school’s staff handled the situation and ensured everyone’s safety, a group of students’ mothers decided to start raising funds in the hopes of putting it towards a thank you gift for their efforts. “It snowballed from there,” Daley said, noting that parents have raised more than $2,000 so far via donations. “We’re amazed by the generosity of the community. We didn’t expect it. We thought we would be able to get maybe a few hundred bucks and be able to buy them some pizza or something.”
Soon after, one of the owners of the British Hotel, Christina got word of the initiative and reached out to the organizers asking how the restaurant could help, before providing a full pizza lunch for all 101 Symmes and D’Arcy McGee teachers and administrators. “We were incredibly happy,” Daley said, noting that the parents plan on organizing a series of activities in March. Daley also thanked Marché Laflamme for helping the parents put together another lunch for the school’s staff members.
Considering how challenging the pandemic has been on education and how well teachers have adapted to certain changes, Daley emphasized the importance of recognizing the value of what school teachers and administrators contribute to the community. “Teachers are unsung heroes,” Daley said. “They really don’t get the credit they deserve … they’re helping form and develop our children. Those are our future leaders.” Noting that the first week of February was Canada’s Teacher appreciation weekly, Daley said that the parents want to keep the supportive spirit going as much as possible for the rest of the school year. “If we can keep getting donations, then we’ll keep doing it, right,” Daley said. “We’re just some working moms.”