Friends of a feather give thanks together

Bigger is better when it comes to a Thanksgiving turkey, and White Oak Intermediate School’s students fed theirs plenty of gratitude to bulk it up this month.
Each of the turkey’s brightly-colored feathers – hundreds by the time it was all said and done – bore a ‘Thank You’ to one of the campus’ staffers whether they serve the students in the classroom, in the office, in the cafeteria or by straightening up the school after the kids go home for the day.
“It’s really just a simple thing that we tried to do to show thankfulness for our staff,” White Oak Intermediate School Principal Shanna McKelvey said.
It’s kind of a tough time of year for faculty and staff members, she added, handling the holiday rush at school while juggling their own Thanksgiving preparations at home before sprinting headlong into December, Christmas, and more seasonal stress.
The Thanks Giving Turkey Project offered a little extra boost before the Thanksgiving break. The feathers went home with faculty and staff with plenty to go around.
“Really and truly, we have over 400,” McKelvey said, in her first year as intermediate principal. “I hope everyone gets one – I won’t know until we take them all down.”
According to one student, ‘I’m thankful for…’ a teacher because “She really help me with math and how to do stuff.” For another child, it was “For teaching me and helping me through 3rd grade.” Another was thankful for a cafeteria worker: “I’m thankful for you because we need lunch food to stay and alive and you make food for us…”
The intermediate school shares staff with the primary campus downstairs.
“I have 18 teachers, three interventionists, three special education and probably five paraprofessionals,” in addition to the team of maintenance, cafeteria and custodians,” McElvey said. “Our kids really do love and appreciate them.”

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