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 Juvenile Court and Community School Students Parents Organize Teacher Appreciation Event

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A group of parents and students in North County Juvenile Court and Community Schools cooked food, bought flowers, made gifts and wrote letters this week to thank teachers for all of their hard work.

"It’s to thank them for what they do for our children, for watching over them and teaching them," said Teresa De Luna, one of the organizers.

The teacher-appreciation event was the brainchild of a handful of parents and guardians on advisory committees at the nine school sites in the northern region of the program. They brought all of the food – most of which was homemade – and put together potted arrangements of paper flowers featuring positive descriptions of each teacher with words such as "creative" and "empathetic."

Before the parents handed out the gifts, they showed videos from students who also wanted to thank the teachers for their patience and perseverance.

"Although you’re kind of strict, you’re still cool," one girl said.

It was an honor to hear from the parents and students, said Matheno Landers, who teaches at Escondido Community School.

"It definitely was the best teacher-appreciation day that I’ve ever been a part of," he said.

For Dadisi Jacobs, who teaches at De Oro Community School, the recognition made him want to work even harder for the students, he said.

There are 24 teachers in the North Region Juvenile Court and Community Schools that serve about 400 students each day. The SDCOE program includes teen outreach, special education and independent study along with more typical classes.

Most of the students in the program were either expelled from other schools or have been appointed by courts.

Because they can often require more work than other students, the parents thought it was important to let their teachers know how much their efforts are appreciated, said Naleda Martinez, another parent who helped with the event.

"They try to help the kids to become better every day," she said. School is a second home for the students, she added.

This was the first time the parents have organized anything like this, but De Luna said she hopes to make it an annual event.

The amount of effort parents put into the event was touching, said Alicia Romero, parent liaison for the schools.

"It just makes me feel so good," she said.


Photo Caption: Parent Felipa Alfaro hands a paper flower arrangement to Teacher Roberto Diaz Thursday as part of a teacher-appreciation meal at the North County Regional Education Center for teachers in the Juvenile Court and Community Schools.