Weichert FS Aug 21 – Sept 21 2019

Lisa Yoshino, a Response to Intervention coordinator at Churchill School in Homewood was one of hundreds of District 153 staff to have an appreciation sign planted her her front yard. (Provided photo)

During the weekend of May 2, blue and white signs started sprouting up on people’s lawns. The signs told residents of Homewood and Flossmoor, and other communities in Illinois and Indiana, that their neighbors worked for Homewood School District 153. 

And, their efforts were appreciated.

It was a new twist on Staff Appreciation Week. In a normal school year, teachers and staff would have been feted with a lunch and special recognition each of the five days of the May 4 week.

But with school buildings closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, staff members got treated to a different kind of recognition. Administrators split up the list of home addresses and drove around planting the “Super Hero” signs on front lawns.

Kathy Schaeflein, District 153’s curriculum director, was delighted to get her staff appreciation sign. (Provided photo)

“Our district decided to put these signs in every staff member’s yard,” James Hart School science teacher Ric Druse wrote in a social media post. “That in itself is amazing, but I live 50 miles from Homewood and someone drove all the way out here to make sure I got a sign, too. Thank you.”

Superintendent Dale Mitchell said staff has gone “above and beyond” this semester dealing with all the changes COVID-19 forced on the district. He didn’t want Staff Appreciation Week to go by without some acknowledgement.

Aside from their teaching duties, at the end of April Mitchell said teachers and custodial staff also took on the job of packaging things from lockers, cubbies and desks so parents can retrieve their students’ belongings.

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