12 Days of Gratitude


Hannah Dollar

The holiday season is the perfect time to recognize those who do so much for us. This holiday season, the faculty and staff are thanked with gifts, treats, and lots of gratitude. From Dec. 6th through Dec. 18th, the school administration will be participating in the 12 Days of Gratitude, where each department will give back to the rest of the school, letting each other know how grateful they are. 

Dr. Hersperger, with the help of the paraprofessionals, took on finding unique ways to celebrate each of the 12 days while joyfully honoring the teachers and staff. This year, the event’s concept was tweaked in response to COVID in light of the amount of work teachers have on their plates.

“We wanted to be inclusive of everyone and anybody’s belief system, so we started calling it the 12 Days of Gratitude. The point was to have the different departments give back to the rest of the school and just let them know that they are grateful for one another,” Associate Principal for Curriculum and Instruction, Dr. Hersperger said. “So far, the staff has been very appreciative of the gifts we have given and even more so that we took the time to make it secure and safe concerning COVID.”

In previous years, each department has been responsible for one of the 12 days. As this year is different in many ways, less responsibility has been put on the departments. Groups like the choir, CTE, and the counseling center have provided resources and entertainment for the school. On Dec. 14th, the counseling center will be dropping sweets, treats, and appreciation letters in staff mailboxes; on Dec. 15th, CTE will be passing out DIY ornaments, and on Dec. 17th choir will be singing carols. These are just a few of the gracious things included in the 12-day event. 

“I really look forward to when the departments do their own thing; they surprise me with what they come up with,” Hersperger said. “Probably my favorite day is the “Greatest Gift of All,” which is where we have the students thank their teachers, administrators, counselors, custodians, lunch ladies, and police officers, showing that they are thankful for what they do. We put the student’s messages in the staff’s boxes on the 18th. It is nice when you get to the end of the first semester in any year, let alone this year, and you are ready for that break. To walk out on that day and read the kind things your students say about you and what they are thankful for is, in my eyes, one of the nicest things.”

This year ideas were used that were not overly costly. Though “The Greatest Gift of All” and caroling do not cost anything, some events required sponsorship. Without the support of Dr. Murrell, the counselors, and the individual departments, these days would not have been possible, and the appreciation for each department’s talents would not have been displayed. 

“I really think it is important to give back to our staff and make sure the administration knows how much we appreciate them and recognize how much we understand each other,” Hersperger said. “We are very blessed to work in an outstanding school with really good people, and I think you have to do some things throughout the year that lets everyone remember that. Even in today’s situation, with COVID and how difficult this year has been on everyone, we are still blessed to work with our staff.”