School leaders put in extra effort to honor, feed and connect with students during pandemic

School leaders put in extra effort to honor, feed and connect with students during pandemic

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Ever since the coronavirus shut down schools in mid-March, teachers, administrators and school staffers have been working to keep their students in the loop.

We’ve gotten dozens of notes from parents around the Tennessee Valley, praising the way their school is handling things. Hampton Cove Elementary teacher Deborah Watson holds daily zoom calls with her students that have become the highlight of everyone’s day. At Buckhorn Middle and High Schools, band directors Jacob Souder and Josh Williams are already making sure the Bucks are ready for marching season this fall with regular online meetings and non-stop communication updating band members and parents. West Limestone High has been featuring a “senior spotlight”, showing off one member of the class of 2020 every day on social media.

Feeding the Falcons

Feeding the Falcons, Florence city school workers have made countless meals for students during the shutdown
Feeding the Falcons, Florence city school workers have made countless meals for students during the shutdown (Source: Florence City Schools)

In Florence, the “Feed the Falcons” program has been turning out nearly 200 meals per day. Assistant Superintendent Lynne Hice put it simply: “I can’t function if I’m hungry, so obviously a child can’t function if they’re hungry either. We knew immediately going into this we had to provide food for our students. We knew if they were going to learn, they had to have proper nutrition.”

Denise Stout, the CNP manager at Hibbett Middle School said the project has been a lot of work, but very rewarding. " It’s important that we get the meals to the children. They’ve had their world rocked just like ours has and I think knowing that they’re going to be able to get some of their favorite things we fix for them, have a good lunch and breakfast."

#MyGeekyPrincipal

Amanda Holloway, Brindlee Mountain's #GeekyPrincipal
Amanda Holloway, Brindlee Mountain's #GeekyPrincipal (Source: YouTube)

In Marshall County, Brindlee Mountain Principal Amanda Holloway has been going above and beyond to connect with her kids, and keep them entertained. She’s been posting several videos every week on social media, with the hashtag #MyGeekyPrincipal. She helped the students understand what was going on by talking with a nurse about the virus, and even holding a special Star Wars themed “May the 4th Be With You” update.

“I would get to say ‘Good Morning!’, and two hundred fifty people would say ‘Good morning!’ right back. And I miss that.” Holloway told WAFF 48. “And I just wanted to let the kids know that we were still with them, and they haven’t been forgotten. The kids love it. They miss us and we miss them. Morale is important right now, and it’s important to stay in touch. This is not an easy time for educators”

Fayetteville’s Class of 2020

Fayetteville High School honors the class of 2020
Fayetteville High School honors the class of 2020 (Source: WAFF)

In Fayetteville, the high school administration has made sure to put the class of 2020 front and center - literally.

There are 88 placards on the front lawn of the school - one for each graduating senior. “It never ceases to amaze me with what people do.” Superintendent Janine Wilson told WAFF 48. “The efforts made for showing the students how much we care about them. Our counselors and teachers have gone out of their way to communicate with the families and the students. Our folks are amazing, always. And their very much appreciated.”

There’s one special banner among the 88 - belonging to Tate Tuten. Tate was killed in a car wreck last October. He would’ve been graduating with his friends this month. “I think this another way for the rest of the class to have another means to connect with him.” said Fayetteville cheerleading coach Lisa Moyers. “He might not be here but he is here with every single one of us in our heart. We all have this saying, take Tate with you, and this is just another way of doing that.”

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