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A parade of gratitude



Steen Mitchell, 9, and his younger brother Russell, 7, show their homemade signs to a parade of teachers. PHOTO COURTESY OF MARA MITCHELL

BSSD teachers caravan to see students


On the afternoon of April 2, Big Sky School District students, bound to distance learning from home, peeled themselves from their computer screens and took to the streets to see their dearly missed teachers.

Inspired by similar parades that have been taking place throughout the country, BSSD’s elementary guidance counselor Erika Frounfelker gathered her fellow educators in the school parking lot at 4 p.m. before hitting the bus routes. In her email organizing the event, Frounfelker wrote “Let’s go see our kids.”

Big Sky School District teachers, clothed in costumes and armed with cowbells, prepare for a parade through town. PHOTO COURTESY OF ERIKA FROUNFELKER

In a stream of cars led by technology teacher Jeremy Harder, who was driving a school bus, teachers passed through neighborhoods from the meadow all the way up to Moonlight in a parade that lasted nearly two hours. Students, parents and community members stood in their driveways, waving signs and cheering.

Steen Mitchell, 9, and his younger brother, Russell, 7, crafted handmade signs that read “Teachers rock” and “We miss you and love you.”

After the festivities had ended, Steen told his mom “It made me realize how much I missed going to school.”

Mara Mitchell, Russell and Steen’s mom, said the appreciation for teachers they always had in their house has been amplified. “Being at home and trying to do anything close to what they do in school has definitely made us realize how amazing our teachers are.”

The parade lasted two hours and followed the bus route, which covers most neighborhoods in Big Sky. PHOTO COURTESY OF ERIKA FROUNFELKER

Frounfelker said while the teachers miss giving hugs and high fives in the classrooms and hallways, being able to say hi and wave from a car was a good consolation.

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