Dracut shows appreciation for Englesby teachers, staff

The Englesby Elementary School PTO and administrators worked together to deliver signs, mugs and baked goods to 65 staff members this week in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week. (Courtesy of Karen Mercurio)

DRACUT — Last week, Englesby Elementary School staff opened the doors of their homes to find a welcome surprise.

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, administrators worked with the PTO to deliver signs, mugs and homemade baked goods to the homes of about 65 staff members. Photos of the gifts and signs — which read “A rock star staff member from Englesby lives here” — soon filled social media, and Principal Laurie Fahey said that by the end of the day Monday, staff were eagerly awaiting their deliveries almost “like waiting for Santa to show up.”

She said that the school’s assistant principal, Lindsey Howe, saw the idea online, and administrators wanted to make sure to thank the staff especially considering all of the recent changes they’ve dealt with in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

“It was just like, we need to let them know we appreciate all the hard work they’re doing and a little pick me up. What can we do? So it was super important,” Fahey said. “We want to make sure they know we’re still a community, we’re still a family and we’re here for them.”

The delivery team traveled as far as Sudbury and Hooksett, N.H. to brighten the staff’s day with the treats. And it took dedication — Howe continued her delivery route even after her car broke down in Haverhill as she was out handing out the gifts, Fahey said.

The administrators also spent their weekends baking in preparation, with Howe contributing chocolate chip cookies and Fahey offering up chocolate oat bars. Karen Mercurio, a special education teacher at the school, said every time she sees the sign she received, it reminds her that she is appreciated and that her work matters.

“I can’t even begin to tell you how special seeing that sign and goodies made me feel. To be honest, I broke down in tears because not only did it remind me of how much I miss my students, but more importantly how lucky I am to be part of such an amazing school family,” she said. “We all have so much on our plates, yet they took the time to make sure each and every one of us was recognized.”

For Fahey, the best part of the project was bringing a smile to her staff’s faces. She said the school’s employees have adapted admirably to their new situation, working long hours to make sure that students get the help they need.

“I can’t say enough about how proud I am to be part of the school system right now. They really, they just took it and ran with it,” Fahey said. “We made a plan and the teachers just went hard to work.”