Teachers and staff honored at Ellis D. Parker Elementary School


FORT RUCKER, Ala. (WDHN) — As the school year comes to an end one elementary school in the Wiregrass wanted to show appreciation to their unsung heroes.

According to Dr. Vicki Gilmer, the Principal at Ellis D. Parker Elementary School on Fort Rucker, the amount of work and dedication the faculty gave their students during this unpredictable school year was simply remarkable.

“Going into March last year, into remote learning, in what they accomplished moving into this new school together,” Gilmer said. “New location, new rules, grade level bubbles, everything was just so new and so daunting and they did it so well.”

This is one of the many reasons why school officials wanted to honor teachers and staff members at the school. Gilmer said the staff overcame more than just COVID.

“We talked a lot in the past years about building a team and blending as a team,” Gilmer said. “Also having perseverance and grit, they modeled that above anything I can imagine this year.”

The theme of the celebration was none other than football.

Teachers and staff received championship jerseys and rings for tackling the school year. Gilmer said her staff was all champions this year and she is proud of the way they all learned, grew, and adapted to the new normal.

According to Raymond Quitugua, the Garrison Command Sergeant Major at Fort Rucker, servicemen and women have been honoring front-line workers.

Quitugua said many soldiers, including himself are parents and teachers and are there to be adaptable, flexible, and take care of their loved ones so they are able to protect our freedoms.

“My wife and I would have loved to been with them every single step of the way, but we know that is not possible,” Quitugua said. “You rely on teachers.”

Quitugua tells WDHN that the work staff members and teachers at schools are often forgotten. He said they wear many hats and deserve honor and appreciation for their day-to-day work.

“One thing that COVID-19 certainly taught us is when it comes to essential workers, to include our teachers and our staff,” Quitugua said. “They really were the unsung heroes.”

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