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Teachers are appreciated
National Teacher Appreciation Week is this week, May 2-6. Pictured are West Elementary faculty and staff members, from left, principal Michelle Lewis, Brenda McGinnis, Brittany McGee, Mindy Dupree, Dana Evans, Jackie Reed, Janet Nunley, Katie McCorkle, Kandi Barnes, Annie Womack and Tammy Byars.

Every spring is time to celebrate those who help shape our children and make them great. National Teacher Appreciation Week is May 2-6 and a perfect time to say “thank you” to a special teacher and let them know you appreciate all they do.
“We have the best staff in the world,” said West Elementary principal Michelle Lewis. “Teachers work so hard. I appreciate everything they do.”
Great teachers spend their days (and often nights) planning, preparing and thinking about their lesson plans – devoting their entire lives to shaping young minds.
Tammy Byars, instructional coordinator at West Elementary, says teachers work so hard that even taking time for appreciation is difficult with testing this week. The school’s PTO, said Byars, is generously providing staff with breakfast and lunch next week, as well as a chance to win prizes.
When poled about their favorite teachers, they had them. Third-graders Kaden Pascal, Zachary Javaher and Dyson Elam all agree one of their favorite teachers is Vanessa Cannon.
“I like Mrs. Cannon,” said Dyson, who wants to be a basketball player when he grows up.
When asked why, Kaden, who wants to be a police officer, replied, “Because she’s nice.”
“She doesn’t give too much homework,” said Zachary, who also wants to be a basketball player.
Fifth-grader T’kiya Brown says her favorite subject is PE and one of her favorite teachers is Joan Steakley.
“Mrs. Steakley is very sweet,” said T’kiya. “She helps us when we need it. It helps us learn more.”
Student Orianna Contreras added, “I also like Mrs. (Kandi) Barnes.”
“Oh, I like Mrs. Barnes, too. She so nice,” said T’kiya.
Officially showing appreciation for teachers started in 1944 when political and education leaders discussed the need for a national day to honor teachers. Nine years later, Eleanor Roosevelt persuaded the 81st Congress to proclaim a National Teacher Day. Congress declared March 7, 1980 as National Teacher Day.
Warren County School Board member Bill Zechman says teachers may never know the true impact they make.
“What you do every day profoundly affects not only the children assigned to your classes but our community, our nation and our civilization,” said Zechman. “While many public services are absolutely vital – health care workers, paramedics, law enforcement officers, firefighters, men and women in the military services – no job is more important, essential or consequential than that of a teacher. Kindly accept this as my humble and totally sincere ‘thank you’ for making a difference.”