By Andrea Holata
BRIGHTON — Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School (PECS) celebrated their outstanding teachers and staff on May 9 with a red carpet affair during teacher appreciation week.
The appreciation banquet resembled Hollywood’s Oscar night, complete with a red carpet walk of fame, Oscar-inspired trophies, and centerpieces with movie film and balloons.
To start the evening, teachers, staff and guests were greeted with dinner and a slideshow of the past year’s activities. Throughout the night, students recited heartfelt poems that thanked the teachers for their hard work.
“I am happy that you’re my teacher,” student Elle Thomas said. “Thanks for all you do. You make learning easy, and the lessons are fun, too.”
Eighth-grade student Michael Garcia also delighted the audience with a fitting song he sang and played on the guitar, Time of Your Life by Green Day.
Principal Brian Greseth started off the awards portion of the evening.
“I appreciate everything that you do,” he said. “I have been a principal at five different schools and never have I been at an all-around stronger school than I have been at PECS.”
The Charter School continued to show their gratitude to the teachers and staff by giving them each a sweater with the school’s logo. All employees who have given their time since the school opened also received a five-year pin.
In addition, a special gift was presented to one generous volunteer, Norman “Skeeter” Bowers, the Chairman’s special assistant.
“I can call him anytime…He’s always there to assist,” Charter School administrative assistant Michele Thomas said. “There are many times that you need a lifeline to make things happen and he is that.”
Finally, it was time for the superstars of the night to be recognized for their dedication to and achievements at the Charter School.
First and foremost, nominated by her peers, Renea Finney was awarded the 2012 Teacher of the Year award for her dedication to the Charter School.
“Renea is the type of person that comes to school and does her job to the best of her ability,” principal Greseth said. “She does whatever needs to be done every day. Even though you may be humbled for being
Teacher of the Year at PECS, you definitely deserve this. You’re a great representative.”
Finney offered her words of gratitude toward everyone at the Charter School who made it possible for her to achieve such an award.
“Thank you all for the honor that you bestowed upon me when you chose me to represent you all as Teacher of the Year at PECS…I am truly blessed to work at a place that doesn’t even feel like work,” she said.
The next prestigious award, 2012 Non-Instructional Employee of the Year, went to Diana Greenbaum.
“I truly don’t believe that we have teachers and teachers’ aides; we have teachers and other teachers,” principal Greseth said.
He continued by thanking her for her dedication and for making the Charter School a happier place to be.
“She is a go-er – very, very cheerful and willing to chip in in everything around the school,” he said.
This year, the Charter School added a first-time Culture Teacher of the Year Award, which Denise Welborn received.
The lead Culture teacher, Janelle Robinson, spoke of how Welborn’s assistance in the classroom has helped over the years.
“I never have to worry about my classroom being ready to start with or without me,” Robinson said.
For all their commitment to the Charter School, all three ladies received a handmade Seminole skirt and/or shirt made by parents of students who attend the school.
“We are a group that shares and because of that our students are successful,” he said. “Our teachers are successful, and we are very blessed to have wonderful staff like you to be working with our children.”