Story by Paris Dozier. Photos by Janiya Rivera.
NOV. 27, 2017: At the monthly staff meeting, teachers filled the cafeteria to listen to all of the information about what was taking place at the school this month. At the end of the meeting, Ms. Owo, the school’s principal announced the nominations for the staff member of the month. Ms. Abreu was announced the winner for the IB trait, “Caring”. But that wasn’t the only announcement. A parent, Mr. Jenkins, father of Courtney and Brianna McDuffie who are in the 2nd and 4th grade and another Woodridge student who graduated who’s now in college, reached out to Ms.Owo a few weeks ago because he wanted to find a way to show his appreciation for the teachers here at Woodridge.
He decided that he wanted to give Ms.Owo four three-day and two-night vacation vouchers to randomly give to a teacher each quarter. Ms. Owo agreed that each teacher nominated for the staff member of the month would have their names put in a drawing for the trip. When he informed Ms.Owo, she appreciated the gesture, however, she was not completely certain that he would follow through. But he did in a very significant way!
During the staff meeting, Mr. Jenkins not only shared with the entire staff that he was donating four vacation vouchers to the school, but he also surprised all of the teachers and staff by presenting the first one to a teacher that evening.
The parent, Mr. Jenkins shared a story about how he appreciated the Woodridge staff for pouring their hearts into the success of his daughters. Then he presented Keisha Lewis, 4th-grade math teacher, with a vacation voucher. Ms. Lewis who is from Jamaica decided that Jamaica would be her selection. So, a free round-trip ticket to Jamaica was awarded at the meeting. The entire cafeteria burst into joy and applause. Ms. Lewis began to cry with tears of joy as she accepted her voucher! Teachers are truly like family here at Woodridge and this is a great way to prove it!
Paris Dozier is a 3rd grade scholar and Janiya Rivera is a 6th grade scholar at Friendship Woodridge International Academy.