Teacher Appreciation Week Celebrated at Lynbrook


Photo Courtesy of Lynbrook SGA on Instagram

Emma Leighley presents teacher Michael Spinella with flowers for Teacher Appreciation Week.

The Student Government Association (SGA) acknowledged teachers during the week of May 3 as they hand-delivered carnations to classrooms across the district in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week. Students purchased flowers for $5 a pair; then, members of the SGA made their rounds to LHS classrooms. Flowers were also sold at the Kindergarten Center, Marion Street, West End, and Waverly Park Elementary School throughout the week. 

In addition to flowers, students were able to include a personal message of appreciation for their teacher. The fundraiser was held in honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week, a week-long show of gratitude for educators that was first designated in 1984 by the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA). This year was the Lynbrook School District’s first official recognition of the week. 

Two elementary students present their teacher with Teacher Appreciation Week flowers. (Photo Courtesy of Lynbrook SGA on Instagram)

“We felt that in these times of the pandemic, it is more important than ever for students to show appreciation for their teachers,” said SGA Advisor and English Teacher Mary Kirby. “Every Lynbrook teacher has given their all to do what’s best for the students, and I’ve always said we have the best kids in the world here. We really do,” she added.

Kirby explained that the SGA had spent the past several weeks brainstorming one final fundraiser for the year, which was a difficult feat considering the pandemic and tricky timing of final and AP exams. However, when they realized May 3-9 was Teacher Appreciation Week, the same week as Mothers’ Day, they thought there was no more appropriate time to sell flowers. “Talk about making lemonade out of lemons,” Kirby said.

Juniors Lexi Capitali and Emma Leighley, slate secretary, were among the SGA members who helped make deliveries to teachers’ classrooms. “I really enjoyed this event, and I hope to do it again next year,” Capitali said. “I think it was a great way to celebrate our teachers, and it made them really happy,” she added.

Capitali added that teachers were pleasantly surprised to receive the floral gifts and in some cases reacted humorously. Chorus Teacher Barry Wyner, for example, said, “Whose birthday is it?” when presented with a carnation. “I turn that corner 20 times a day, but I never once expected to turn and see a crew with a flower…especially one that was for me!” said Wyner. “It warmed my heart, after a long week, to feel appreciated in that way,” he added.

John Kelhetter gathers flowers to show appreciation for LHS teachers. (Photo Courtesy of Lynbrook SGA on Instagram)

Kirby and the SGA purchased 1,000 carnations from Flowers by Freyhammer to prepare for the event, and by the end of the week, they raised over $600. All of the funds from the flower sale will funnel into the Unsung Heroes Scholarship (UHS), a $300 academic scholarship offered to two deserving LHS seniors. Recipients of the scholarship are chosen by senior SGA members for their efforts to better the Lynbrook community and schools. 

“Oftentimes, these people go unnoticed, and although the recipients seek no recognition, the SGA feels they have earned it,” Slate President Joe Giovinco said of the UHS recipients. “An unsung hero is someone that shows good character, benefits their community, is well-rounded, and ultimately, is someone who is pleasant to be around for everyone,” he added. This year’s recipients have already been selected and will be announced at the Senior Awards Night, an event being livestreamed on May 25. 

Slowly but surely, the students, staff, and families of Lynbrook are inching their way back to normalcy. “It is always important for the SGA to create an environment at LHS that makes students feel a level of comfort, a sense of belonging,” Kirby said. “I truly feel that was achieved this week,” she added.