On December 18, about 50 Leesville staff members convened in the cafeteria to celebrate the holiday season. Members of Leesville’s Executive Council began planning this event in October and coordinated food, drinks, and activities. Through this holiday party, the Executive Council hoped to show appreciation for Leesville teachers.
Both Michelle Engdahl, Leesville social studies teacher, and Joni Amerson, an English teacher, attended the holiday party to demonstrate their gratitude for the Executive Council’s efforts. In addition, Amerson used the party as a way to catch up with her fellow teachers.
“I thought it would be fun to see my colleagues out of my classroom,” said Amerson. “We don’t get together very often and see colleagues from other departments because we’re just always in our classrooms.”
Amerson also noted that in previous years, school dances allowed the teachers, who were chaperones, to socialize. Now, Prom remains the only school dance at Leesville, so if not for the Executive Council’s holiday party, Leesville’s teachers would have just one convenient opportunity to converse outside a formal work setting.
Overall, Engdahl enjoyed the event, for it provided respite from the pressures of daily life.
“We got to socialize in a way that was stress-relieving,” Engdahl said. “The Kahoot, for example, was fun. It was silly, and for 15 minutes, I forgot about all the papers I have to grade, and that was really nice, so I think that just sort of the little break before our big break was much-needed.”
This holiday staff party was not the only event that the Executive Council has organized for Leesville’s teachers. Last May, the council held an event for faculty and staff called 25 Years of Pride, honoring both Leesville’s twenty-fifth anniversary and Leesville staff members.
A large party, however, is not the only way to exhibit appreciation for teachers; a handwritten note oftentimes proves to be just as effective.
“Teachers appreciate any kind of acknowledgement no matter how big or small,” said Engdahl.