At its virtual meeting Jan. 27, the West Springfield Rotary Club honored three outstanding teachers: Jen Shaddrix from Orange Hunt Elementary School, Lauren Ryan from Keene Mill Elementary School and Joanne Lewenhaupt from Nativity Elementary School. These teachers were all recommended by their principals for their outstanding teaching skills and hard work teaching during the pandemic.
Even in normal times, teachers often spend their own money to buy special teaching aids for their classroom and supplies for children who cannot afford their own. In the changeover to virtual classrooms, they have had to do this even more than in normal times. Each of these teachers was given a $250 stipend to help them meet these needs.
Renee Miller, the principal at Keene Mill Elementary School, and Karen Tuttle, the principal at Orange Hunt, reported that all their classes are virtual at this time; this took a lot of planning in August and was challenging at first, but is basically going well now. The teachers are anxious to get back to live class as soon as they can be vaccinated, and the children are anxious as well - many just want to be able to give their teachers a hug.
Nativity Elementary School Principal Maria Kelly reported that they are able to have regular class, but they do provide an opportunity for students to attend virtually if they wish. Desks are separated by six feet and there is plexiglass on the desks for added protection.