- Wicomico County Public Schools
Wicomico Teacher Recognition Events Planned for May 3-7 Teacher Appreciation Week
This year’s observance of the nationwide Teacher Appreciation Week will be extra special in Wicomico County Public Schools. The week will include a Teacher of the Year celebration with the 2020 and 2021 semifinalists, the naming of the 2021 finalists and the 2021-2022 Wicomico Teacher of the Year, a Teacher Appreciation Parade, and naming of the 2021 winner of the Rising Star Award.
The events listed below are in addition to any Teacher Appreciation Week activities that may be planned by schools and their faith-based or other community partners. Teachers deserve this appreciation week every year, but never more than this May. They have done an amazing job in the past 14 months with remote, virtual and hybrid learning.
“We consider each and every one of our teachers to be a Teacher of the Year this year for how they have overcome the challenges over the past year during this pandemic,” said Dr. Rick Briggs, Chief Academic Officer. “When I visit classrooms each week, I continue to be amazed by the instruction that I see happening for all students – no matter their location – in the room or at home on Zoom. Our teachers have done phenomenal work for our students and families, and I want each of them to know how much they are truly appreciated.”
Wicomico Teacher Appreciation Week Activities
Monday, May 3:
Video at 9 a.m. on Wicomico County Public Schools’ Facebook page and YouTube channel announcing the finalists for the 2021 Rising Star Award for outstanding second-year teachers. Award sponsors Bill and Teresa McCain of the McCain Foundation will visit one finalist’s school before the end of that day to give the teacher the news that the teacher is the 2021 Rising Star Award winner. The winner will be officially announced and recognized during the Wicomico Teacher of the Year Celebration on Thursday, May 6.
Tuesday, May 4:
Salute to the 2020 Teacher of the Year semifinalists, finalists and winner, in a classroom video on WCPS Facebook, YouTube and PAC 14.
Wednesday, May 5:
Salute to the 2021 Teacher of the Year semifinalists, in a classroom video on WCPS Facebook, YouTube and PAC 14. A longer video introducing this year’s semifinalists will be airing on PAC 14 and will be posted to YouTube.
Thursday, May 6:
The 27 semifinalists in the running for the honor of 2021-2022 Wicomico Teacher of the Year will be celebrated at the Wicomico Teacher of the Year Celebration at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 6. On the program first that night for recognition: The 25 semifinalists from 2020, who haven’t been recognized in person until now. It wasn’t possible to gather the usual crowd of 300 for an indoor banquet due to COVID restrictions, so this year’s Teacher of the Year Celebration is a reimagined event on the top level of the Downtown Parking Garage, with Downtown Salisbury as the backdrop. A reduced number of Invitations was issued in order to limit the size of the gathering, which will have full health and safety precautions in place. (In case of rain, this event will move one level down in the parking garage, and will take place at 5 p.m. as planned.) In addition to announcement of the semifinalists from 2020 and 2021, the event will include:
- Announcement of the 2020 finalists
- A farewell speech by the 2020-2021 Wicomico Teacher of the Year, Hemalatha Bhaskaran of James M. Bennett High
- Presentation of the 2020-2021 Friend of Education Award
- Recognition of the 2021 Rising Star Award winner
- Announcement of the 2021 finalists
- Naming of the 2021-2022 Wicomico Teacher of the Year
Immediately following the Teacher of the Year Celebration, at 6 p.m., a Teacher Appreciation Parade will take place on the streets below the parking garage. Would you or your family like to share appreciation for a teacher or teachers who have done great work this year? This is a great opportunity to show how you feel! Everyone is welcome to take part in this drive-by parade. Vehicles meet in Lot 10 (the big city lot behind the District Court building, just south of 50 Business and just west of Business 13) anytime after 5:30 p.m. There will be one clearly designated lead car that will guide participants on the parade route, stepping off from Lot 10 at 5:50 p.m. Show your appreciation by decorating your car (to be seen from above), honking, waving, cheering, etc. Teachers and other guests of the Teacher of the Year Celebration will go to the south and west sides of the parking garage to look down to watch the Teacher Appreciation Parade at 6 p.m. The parade will be livestreamed on the Wicomico County Public Schools’ Facebook page for all teachers, families and the community to enjoy. (In case of rain, the parade will go on as planned.)
Friday, May 7:
The school of the 2021-2022 Wicomico Teacher of the Year will have its own celebration for its New Teacher of the Year Arrival (time and details to be announced on Thursday night). The school celebration will begin with the teacher arriving at school in a vintage automobile owned by longtime band teacher Buck Burton, who will also serve as chauffer for the new Teacher of the Year. Mr. Burton and his classic car will be part of the Wicomico Teacher of the Year Celebration too: Current Teacher of the Year Mrs. Bhaskaran never got her special ride to school last spring, so she will be driven in the classic car to the start of the red carpet Thursday night just before she gives her farewell speech.