Be a Star: Pequannock Schools Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week

By Dawn M Chiossi


     Be a star, that is the plea from Pequannock schools as they celebrated Teacher Appreciation Week during May 6th through May 10th.


     Teachers, they do so much for their students. They shape minds, stimulate interest in various subjects, provide guidance as well as all of their other actual duties. Having a good teacher can make all the difference to their students in a variety of ways. Teachers are always there: day after day as part of their student’s routine.


    As with any routine, sometimes teachers get taken for granted, and the words thank you get lost, and are left unsaid.  Pequannock said thank you to teachers with Teacher Appreciation week during May 6th through 10th.


    Teacher appreciation week is celebrated during the first full week of May each year. National Teacher Day itself falls on May 7th.


    National Teacher week was founded in 1985 when the national PTA established it. The week is an offshoot of Teacher Appreciation Day, which was passed by Congress in 1980. Yet, the sentiment started even earlier than that. People started celebrating National Teacher Day in 1953 when Eleanor Roosevelt persuaded Congress to set aside a day to recognize educators. Even before then, people were celebrating teachers in the 1940’s. The origins for Teacher Appreciation Day are unclear, a popular theory includes that a teacher (located in either Wisconsin or Arkansas) wrote to the former First Lady urging her to give her voice to the cause.


    The National Education Association describes National Teacher Day as “A day of honoring teachers and recognizing the lasting contributions they make to our lives.”


    For this celebration, schools can show their appreciation to teachers in a variety of ways. Over at the various Pequannock schools, they honored teachers with their Be A Star Fundraiser program.


    The event was sponsored by the Pequannock Township Education Foundation. Founded in 2018 with the mission of enhancing the educational experience of the students in the Pequannock Schools. By securing funding to provide resources and programing that enrich and enhance teaching and learning, they support the students for success.


   “The Be a Star Fundraiser was a brand new program for the Pequannock School System, tells Renee Blustein, President and Founding Member of the Pequannock Township Education Foundation. “It was our first fundraising initiative. In discussing the planning of this fundraiser, each of the founding members were in agreement. We wanted our first initiative to recognize the dedication and hard work our teachers and staff of Pequannock Township School District demonstrate every day. Every parent or committee member has at one time or another had a teacher or a staff member who has made a difference in their child’s life. We wanted to give the students, parents, and community members the opportunity to recognize these teachers and staff members for their positive contributions to their child.”


    When reflecting on the teachers who have made a difference in her own life, Blustein considers it fully. “This is a difficult question to answer,” she asserts. “There is no one teacher or staff member that stands out in my mind, but many. In each stage of my educational career, there were teachers who inspired me in different ways, and for different reasons, depending on which age I was. This could have been my kindergarten teacher who taught me the basics, or my elementary school principal who greeted us each day with a smile and a high five. There was my history teacher who brought lessons alive and taught me to appreciate the past. There was my middle school literature teacher who first introduced me to poetry and some of my favorite poets, which encouraged my love of reading. There was my high school art teacher who pushed me to recognize my abilities, and the guidance counselors who were there with a listening ear and invaluable advice.”


    Blustein sums up her treasured recollections perfectly along with the spirit of the program.  “You see there is no one teacher or staff member, as the saying goes, “It takes a village.” In the Be A Star Program, it is the ‘village’ of parents, teachers, staff and organizations like the Pequannock Township Education Foundation working together that inspire our children to reach educational success.”


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