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Gift baskets of gratitude

by DEVIN WEEKS
Staff Writer | April 24, 2024 1:06 AM

POST FALLS — A little kindness goes a long way.

Tokens of appreciation were spread Tuesday morning throughout schools in Post Falls as members of the Post Falls Chamber of Commerce delivered baskets of goodies to say "thank you" to teachers and staff members for their dedication.

“This time of year, it’s seriously appreciated by all of the staff," Greensferry Elementary Assistant Principal Courtney Beach said. "We are in full-swing testing season, and teachers are very stressed. We are just trying to make it to the end of the year.

“You have no idea how much this brightens their day," she said.

Christina Petit, Post Falls Chamber president and CEO, and other chamber members presented the schools with baskets containing gifts for everyone from teachers and administrators to bus drivers and custodians: snacks, doormats, stadium chairs, dry-erase markers, T-shirts and other swag, accompanied by handwritten notes of gratitude.

This was the third year for the teacher appreciation program, which started during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Among those on the delivery routes was Post Falls Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education Trina Caudle, who has been on the Post Falls Chamber's Business and Education Committee for four years.

“After spring break, it seems like there’s a long haul until summer," Caudle said. “The chamber decided this would be a pick-me-up and a way to thank our educators."

She said everyone in education contributes their talents to the students, which is good for the community, local businesses and livelihoods.

"This is our way of thanking everybody," she said. "It makes a difference."

Bradi Zeigler, Post Falls High secretary, wore a big smile as she began to unpack the baskets to set the gifts on tables in the teachers' lounge.

“It will be awesome," she said. "They have so much fun when they come down. It boosts everybody’s morale and they love it. They will come running.”

Prairie View Elementary Principal Stacy Hisghman said the Post Falls Chamber blesses the local schools through this appreciation project.

"The staff loves community involvement and meeting the friends of our neighborhood," she said.

Northwest Specialty Hospital was one of the main basket sponsors. Camey Yaeger, the hospital's student services and employee health manager, said they are all in when it comes to sharing the love and supporting those in the education community.

“I do it personally to say 'thank you' to the teachers," Yeager said. "I’m a mom in this community, and I know that teachers have a hard job. I love to just give them a little thank you. It’s not much, but it’s something.”

    Post Falls Police Lt. Brian Harrison, right, hands Prairie View Elementary Safety Dean Rich Schutte a basket of gifts Tuesday morning.
    Camey Yeager, manager of student services and employee health for Northwest Specialty Hospital, hauls a gift basket out to a vehicle Tuesday morning at the Post Falls Chamber. She and several others delivered gifts to schools throughout Post Falls to say "Thank you" to teachers and staff.