Parents provide a lesson Basalt Elementary School teachers won’t likely forget | AspenTimes.com

Parents provide a lesson Basalt Elementary School teachers won’t likely forget

If Basalt Elementary School teachers had any doubts about being appreciated, they are being erased this week.

Two members of the Parent Engagement Group at the school have organized a bevy of events to make sure teachers understand just how much their efforts are noticed and appreciated. Linda Consuegra and Tracy Sgroi headed a group effort that builds off Tuesday's National Teacher Appreciation Day.

On Monday teachers and staff were greeted to coffee and pastries to start the day.

On Tuesday they were treated to a taco bar for lunch in the teacher's longue.

Wednesday put a special bloom on the event when children were given the opportunity to buy flowers for their favorite teachers.

On Thursday the town's restaurants are donating fixings for a special lunch.

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Friday is time to relax with 15-minute massages.

"Personally, I feel teachers don't get acknowledged enough," said Consuegra, who has a son in first grade at the school.

She said she volunteers as much as she can at the school, scheduling around her job as an Aspen police officer. She walks away from the experience asking herself, "They do this every day?"

Consuegra said she appreciated how the teachers open their doors to parents and encourage involvement. A lot of parents embrace the invitation.

"I feel like it's my second home, really," she said.

Sgroi said it makes her emotional to think of the efforts teachers and staff have undertaken to make her first-grade daughter feel welcome at the school. She recalled meeting with her daughter's kindergarten teacher at the beginning of the last school year to discuss goals. Sgroi said she wanted something beyond education. She wanted her daughter instilled with a love of learning and school. Mission accomplished at Basalt Elementary, she said.

Suzanne Wheeler-Del Piccolo said parental involvement has ebbed and flowed during her 19 years as principal of the school. She is currently seeing broader involvement. That just makes for a stronger school, she said.

The appreciation events that the Parent Engagement Group is hosting can't help but boost morale, Wheeler-Del Piccolo said, and show teachers how much they are appreciated.

She worked with the organizers on a special event during appreciation week. They wanted to honor teachers and staff with more than 10 years of experience at the school. (Spoiler alert) A surprise assembly will be held today, and the teachers will be called out for their years of service.

Those getting recognition are: Rae Christian and Medina Kelly, 27 years; Debbie Lewis, 24; Maria Salas, 21; Suzanne Wheeler-Del Piccolo and Carol King, 19; Lois Devine, 18; Megan Talbott, 16; Maria Gutierrez, 14; Marisol Henriquez and Ellie Peck, 13; Fernando Fuentes, 12; Hilda Bryant, Amanda Petersen and Dave Plathe, 11; and Noel Gannett, Traci Gurley and Kaet Snyder 10.

Don't worry. Consuegra, Sgroi and Wheeler-Del Piccolo also have something in store for the teachers with less than 10 years of tenure.

scondon@aspentimes.com

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