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Submitted by joann.kirk on Sat, 06/01/2013 - 10:41
Heidi Ward, Kristie Reynolds
Heidi Ward poses with community donated Teacher Appreciation Gifts
PTA Board collects, wraps and distributes special gifts all week.
A delicious luncheon was provided...
and appreciative teachers enjoy.
Mrs. Reynolds opens her surprise.
Mr. James accepts his gift.

PAYSON, Utah-May 6, 2013-Park View Elementary Parent Teacher Association with the help of local businesses kicked-off a historical teacher appreciation celebration. Due to a limited budget, past teacher appreciation events have only consisted of small teacher gifts, decorated classroom doors and a PTA hosted luncheon. However, this year with over $5,000 worth of donations from local businesses, the Park View PTA was able to make gift baskets stuffed with goodies for all school staff members, and additional daily gifts for each teacher throughout the entire week.

“This year we introduced several programs to the school in an effort to gain support for the PTA”, said Heidi Ward, Park View’s acting PTA President. “Through all of these programs, the teachers and other school staff members have shown us tremendous support so we wanted to show them our appreciation by hosting an appreciation event that they would never forget. I decided it was worth a shot to see if we could get our little community in on the action.” 

Ward’s first surprise happened when she walked into a small salon on Historic Main St.  The owner of the salon wasn’t there that day so she told them she would come back later.  As she turned to walk out the door, a gentleman getting his haircut asked if she would accept a check.  “I stopped in my tracks”, said Ward. “I couldn’t believe someone would simply jump at the chance to offer money to an individual he had never met before in order to help bless the lives of teachers he didn’t even know”. This gentleman informed her that he ran a business out of his home and asked if she could pick up a check the next day.  Ward admitted, “Being a former big city girl I was a little skeptical that I would ever hear from him and was even a little nervous about it, but my fears were unfounded”. The very next day this gentleman contacted her and arranged for her to pick up a check for $100.

Another incredible experience occurred with a new convenience store owner in town, who contacted Ward upon receiving her donation request letter. She stated that she had exhausted her store budget at that time but that she was in the PTA when her children were young and knew what a good cause it.  When Ward went to pick up the donation the store owner gave her $50. 

After these first two donations, others came rolling in. “Business owners and store managers were excited to donate and made comments such as, ‘Anything for our teachers’ and ‘We are so happy to give back!’”, stated Ward. “I was absolutely amazed by the generosity exhibited by our small town community. This event has shown me how strong our sense of community is here. This has been a definite win, win for all involved!

Kristie Reynolds, Park View's Principal gratefully responded, "

"I have had the privilege of being the principal of Park View Elementary for the last 6 years. I know that my faculty and staff are 100% devoted to students' success, not just academically, but emotionally as well. They go above and beyond by attending ball games, dance recitals, church functions, and even writing the little note of encouragement that makes a child's day. The overwhelming response of appreciation from the Payson community in donating over $5,000 in cash and products for Teacher Appreciation Week, is a testimony to our staff's greatness. We are so grateful to have a PTA that is also committed to honoring our wonderful staff. Again, I am privileged to work at this remarkable school."