Letters of thanks fill faculty, staff mailboxes at high school with messages of appreciation
When faculty and staff arrived at work on March 29 at Bellefonte Area High School, many found notes left in their mailboxes from National Honor Society students thanking them for the positive effects they have on the lives of students, in addition to the work they do daily at school.
It was a project about 50 students participated in with the goal of reaching out to various school employees, letting them “know their actions are not going unnoticed,” according to senior Angelina Aviles, the club’s president.
“I think it is good to show appreciation (and) personally, I think it is nice to have others recognize what has and will be done,” she said. “Their efforts are leaving positive impacts on students. … We appreciate everything that they are doing for us.”
Some letters were generic; others were customized.
“I appreciate your kindness and your humor, and you truly make learning a great time. Thank you for your generosity and knowledge,” one note said to Chinese teacher Katrina Chen.
“Thank you for putting so much time and hard work into the health and PE program. You are a great health and PE teacher, and always push your students to do their best,” another note said to teacher Shelby Hamilton.
“You really are setting us up for success in the future. You made everyone feel welcome and equal in the classroom, which is very important. I really liked how you kept class interesting, while still teaching us the necessary concepts,” an anonymous letter said to tech ed teacher JP Mayes.
Brit Milazzo, the district’s public relations director, has a classroom at the high school that she checks into every school day and aims to bring positivity that she hopes wears off on others. In addition to her work as an administrator, she’s helped coach the girls’ varsity soccer team, run the high school’s Ski Club and Snow Sports program, work with the junior high track team, and travel around the district with other work and volunteer services. When a note ended up in her mailbox on Tuesday from a student she’s known since his freshman year, it put a lump in her throat, particularly because it hit the nail on the head of what she aims for everyday – positive vibes.
“I’m not the kind of person who expects thanks for doing their job, but it really pulls on your heartstrings,” she said. “I believe attitude is such a big part of the direction of your life, and having an attitude that can positively rub off on those around me is as important as my actual work.”
*Edited by students from the Red and White newspaper due to conflict of interest with Milazzo who was quoted in the story. Letters used with approval from associated teachers and students.