Teacher appreciation

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Prom is over, spring sports are underway, registration for next year’s classes has begun, and more cases of “senior-itis” are being reported.

After a fantastic year marked by achievements and accolades for our students and school, we are in the final stretch. As I reflect on the successes of the 2016-17 school year (with more to come), I am mindful of an upcoming event. National Teacher Appreciation Week is May 7-13, with Tuesday, May 9, named Teacher Appreciation Day.

Spring is an exceptionally busy time of year at the high school. With spring sports, concerts, AP testing and more, Teacher Appreciation Week can easily come and go with only token acknowledgment. Most of the teachers would say “please do not interrupt my day, I have lessons to teach, practices to organize, and students to tutor.”

It is important to ensure that our teachers are recognized for their roles in the accomplishments of our students. Among the recent highlights for Columbia Falls High School: Columbia Falls seniors have been chosen for prestigious national scholarships; volleyball, girls basketball, and speech and debate won state championships; and Columbia Falls has one of the highest graduation/completion rates and lowest dropout rates of all schools in the Flathead Valley. We also offer many unique and exceptional academic programs that rely on our dedicated educators.

Teachers are indeed the common denominator in the above list of things to celebrate. There are very few people who cannot say a teacher made a positive impact. For nearly 180 days each year for 13 years of our lives, teachers motivate, correct, comfort, explain, challenge, demonstrate, share, listen, and inspire. Teaching is more than a career; it is a lifestyle. The reward is not found in the paycheck, but in young lives touched for the better.

This year when the week of May 7 arrives, I want to make it clear how proud I am of the exceptional teachers at Columbia Falls and in School District 6 who have devoted themselves to the education of our young people.

Columbia Falls teachers, another reason I Bleed Blue. Go Wildcats!

Scott Gaiser is the principal of Columbia Falls High School.

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