‘Great Teachers’ get great giveaways during Teacher Appreciation Week

“Great dreams need great teachers!” shouted the John B. Dey Elementary third-graders.

“Is that true?” asked Superintendent Aaron Spence.

It was unanimous. “Yes!”

“Well, we have an ongoing teacher appreciation campaign,” Spence told the class. “It’s not just a week for us; it’s all the time. And all year long we ask people to write in and tell us about great teachers.”

The school division’s Great Dreams Need Great Teachers campaign encourages parents and students to send emails to GreatTeachers@vbschools.com to share positive stories about teachers who are making a difference in schools. Spence and members of his senior staff have surprised teachers throughout the school year by delivering many of the letters in person to their classrooms.

During Teacher Appreciation Week, May 7-11, the surprises were much bigger thanks to the help of campaign sponsors like Best Buy at Landstown Commons.

“We get to visit schools and give special prizes,” Spence told the third-graders. “And guess what? I have a special prize in here and I have it for a teacher in this room. Where’s Ms. Logan? Come on up here Ms. Logan.”

Lynne Logan, Dey’s reading specialist, walked to the front of Beth Nard’s classroom to cheers and applause.

Logan was one of five teachers who received 39” televisions from the Great Dreams Need Great Teachers campaign in partnership with Best Buy at Landstown Commons. Recipients were randomly selected from a list of more than 5,100 teachers and one TV was delivered to a different teacher each day during Teacher Appreciation Week.

Alan Goins, technical education teacher at Princess Anne Middle School (PAMS), was the first teacher surprised. Rashard Wright, chief schools officer, visited the school Monday. Goins has been a VBCPS teacher for 44 years and is the only teacher from the original staff that opened the first PAMS building in 1974.

“I guess I’ll have to give up my 40-year-old TV,” said Goins after unwrapping the gift with a few students.

Maureen Loflin, science teacher at Bayside High School, was surprised on Tuesday to the delight of her class.

At Ocean Lakes High School Wednesday May 9, Spence interrupted Shirley Hall’s Latin class to deliver the surprise gift.

Logan was Thursday’s recipient at Dey, and Wright visited Diamond Springs Elementary Friday to deliver the final prize of the week.

First-grade teacher Andrea Hayes and her students were all shocked by the surprise, and Hayes went home Friday with a new TV.

Donations from additional campaign sponsors, Virginia Beach Schools Federal Credit Union and Papa John’s Pizza, also were distributed to randomly-selected teachers during teacher appreciation week. Surprise gifts of movie passes or pizza coupons were sent to more than 120 teachers.

Visit the VBSchools Facebook page to see more photos and videos from the surprise deliveries during Teacher Appreciation Week and visit the Great Dreams Need Great Teachers website to read parent and student letters sent to the campaign throughout the school year.


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