By Douglas W. Motley
Hundreds of well-wishers lined mountaintop thoroughfares last Thursday morning to greet and show their appreciation to teachers and Rim School District employees and volunteers, as car caravans emanating from each of the district’s schools paraded through neighborhoods and local business districts to the shouts and cheers of children, parents and employees of local businesses.
The cavalcade of teachers was the brainchild of Rim District Superintendent Michelle Murphy, in an effort to boost student morale.
Kicking off at precisely 9:45 a.m., a caravan 20-plus-cars-strong left the parking lot of Crestline’s Valley of Enchantment Elementary School and began winding through neighborhoods past homes where family members held colorful banners expressing their appreciation of all the teachers do for their children.
“Our teachers want to show their support of the community. Our goal is to let the community know that we appreciate them,” said Principal Lauren Tovar. VOE kindergarten/first grade teacher Kirsten Karn added, “It’s exciting to see our kids. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen them.”
When the horn-honking caravan rounded the corner of Lake Drive past the Shell gas station, it was greeted by a banner-waving crowd of cheering kids and parents, including Sam Threadgill, who said, “I’ve only left the house two times in the last six weeks, but I wanted to say hi to kindergarten teacher Mrs. Dosey.”
Meanwhile, in Lake Arrowhead, another caravan of teachers from Mary Putnam Henck Intermediate and Lake Arrowhead Elementary schools wound its way through the Lake Arrowhead communities, led by Tim West in a powder blue 1960s Buick Skylark. The cars had signs and balloons and could be heard honking as they traveled through the residential area.
At the corner of Rose and Highway 189 in Twin Peaks, about four families gathered and waited for the teachers. The kids were excited to see their teachers and loved the thought they were doing this for them.
Rim High School senior Diayna Gonzalez, who has attended Rim schools since her Grandview days, is finding that finishing up her classes online is rather strange. She learned about the parade from Instagram and is glad her soccer season was completed. “But my sister is on the track and field team and, after training for the season, it was canceled and she is bummed.”
Mountain High School Principal David Nygren, who led the parade from Rim High, added, “It was good to yell and honk and wave to some of the parents and kids. We miss you.”
Another family brought a kindergartener and fourth grader from LAE, Jackie and Valerie. Their mother, Maribel, said, “It is very kind of the teachers to do this for the kids.” Jackie was blowing bubbles while she waited. The parents learned about the parade through an email. Collette, another kindergartener, was hopeful her teacher, Mrs. Flores, would be in the parade.
Noon supervisor Mable Perez had been in the Crestline parade from VOE and now was waiting to join the MPH parade at the corner. “The Crestline parade was so much fun, I decided to join this one too. I miss the kids so much.” She had several of her kids in the car and the windows painted.
Longtime Crestline real estate agent Maria Emert said she was thrilled about the parade through Crestline. “I think it is wonderful how our town supports each other. I loved this parade; it shows the love the kids and teachers and have for each other. It really reflects this community.”
A parade of cars also left from Charles Hoffman Elementary School and wound its way through the streets of Running Springs.