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Thank you, teachers!

by DEVIN WEEKS
Staff Writer | May 7, 2020 1:15 AM

Canfield Middle School PTO, students show some love during Teacher Appreciation Week

COEUR d’ALENE — Dear teachers, if you haven't heard by now, your community appreciates you.

Fans of Canfield Middle School teachers even stood out in the pouring rain on Wednesday to make sure their teachers got the message that just because their classrooms are empty doesn't mean their students' hearts are, too.

“I love all my teachers,” said sixth-grader Karisa Wallis, beaming a bright smile while rain pelted the canopy above her. "They help me, and they don’t just move past me."

Members of the Canfield PTO and friends gathered under the pop-up tent in front of the school to make some noise for their beloved teachers as a way to say "thank you" during Teacher Appreciation Week.

Teachers intermittently drove up to the celebration station to receive applause and goody bags filled with gifts from local businesses, such as lip balm from Sage Boutique and gift cards to the Local Deli. The bags were gorgeously decorated by Canfield's eighth grade mentors, a crew of about 40 stellar students who serve as role models in their community.

"The teachers here are outstanding, they do so much for our students,” said mom Kim Corette, who took shelter from the rain in her car with daughter Rachel. "This is the least we could do."

The mother-daughter duo honked their horn when teachers drove through, and Rachel popped open the hatchback of their vehicle to wave signs that read "Thank you 4 teachin'" and "We <3 our teachers."

"We just thought we should recognize all that teachers do for us,” said Rachel, who is in seventh grade at Canfield.

Sixth grade teacher Kris Hinz drove up in her red Volkswagen, also wearing a big smile. She's in her 26th year of teaching, 12 of which she has spent at Canfield.

What does she love most about teaching?

“The kids,” she said. “They brighten your day. They’re funny. They keep it real."

And of course, she said, the hardest thing right now during coronavirus closures is not seeing those funny, bright and sweet kids in person.

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This week is Teacher Appreciation Week, a time to give thanks to teachers everywhere. Since 1984, National PTA — a nonprofit that comprises families, students, teachers, administrators and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools — has designated one week in May as a time to celebrate those who lend their talents to educating America's children.

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Canfield Middle School PTO co-vice president Andrea Ryan, right, prepares to hand a gift bag to sixth grade teacher Kris Hinz, in the car, during a teacher appreciation event in front of the school Wednesday. Sixth grade teacher Leslie Odinthal, center, also came by to visit. Also pictured: Canfield PTO co-vice president Lindsey Knoll (in the hat). (DEVIN WEEKS/Press)

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Canfield Middle School seventh-grader Rachel Corette holds up a “Thank you 4 teachin’” sign as she seeks shelter from the rain in her mom’s car Wednesday during a teacher appreciation event in front of the school.

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Eighth grade mentors from Canfield Middle School gorgously decorated 80 gift bags for their teachers, which PTO members handed out as teachers drove up to the celebration station in front of the school Wednesday. (DEVIN WEEKS/Press)