Four school buses and 30 personal vehicles made up Friday’s Hills-Beaver Creek School District’s teacher parade that drove through the district communities of Steen and Beaver Creek and ended in Hills (pictured above). Residents lined porches, parks and boulevards to wave and hold up signs in greeting to teachers.Preschooler RaeLynn Poncelet holds a sign, “I Miss You!” to teachers as they passed through Steen.  Brandi Balster drove daughters Amara (left) and Tenley into Steen Friday to view the Hills-Beaver Creek School District teachers’ parade.  Special education teacher Jill Stiefvater and her daughters, Lauren (in lap) and Bryn, wave to students and parents while hanging onto the sign “We Miss You” as the teacher parade made its way through Hills.The Fick family of rural Hills parked near the city park in Hills where they greeted teachers with signs of “I love Mrs. Tollefson,” “We miss you,” and “Teachers are heroes.” Pictured from left are Ben, Abigail, Lily and mom, Lisa.    Secondary math teacher Nora Wysong included an inspirational sign on the back of her minivan during the teacher parade through Hills. “Math: All the cool kids are doing it,” “Parallel Lines have so much in common … It’s a shame they never meet,” and “I see you have graph paper. You must be plotting something,” were among the greetings.  A Hills-Beaver Creek School District bus wraps up the teachers’ parade Friday as the route winds its way through Hills.

'We miss your faces'

School parade brightens spirits in Hills, Beaver Creek, Steen

Teachers and staff of Hills-Beaver Creek Public Schools took to the streets Friday afternoon in a “Teacher Parade” through the district’s communities.

The group of almost 50 district employees climbed into about 30 personal vehicles and four school buses for the drive through Steen, Beaver Creek and Hills.

The event took about an hour to complete.

“We miss your faces!” was a theme for the parade organized by the secondary school staff.

Math teacher Nora Wysong was one of the organizers.

“We felt it was important to let students know how much we missed them,” she said. “We decided, ‘Why not a ‘Honk Parade’ and brighten their day.”

Under the district’s distance learning plan, teachers have been talking with students through computers using the Zoom app.

Teachers last met with students face-to-face March 16. Virtual classroom instruction began March 30.

“We tell them in Zoom meetings how wonderful it is to see their faces,” Wysong said. “But there is something special about physically seeing those smiles and seeing them.”

Teachers met at the secondary school in Hills, affixing signs to personal vehicles and buses. Individuals were cognizant of social distancing guidelines, staying six feet apart.

The parade was met with a rain shower through the first community.

“Even though it was raining, there was a great turnout in the city of Steen,” said Superintendent Todd Holthaus at Monday’s school board meeting.

Preschool- through high school-aged students dotted the parade route that wound through Beaver Creek and ended back in Hills. Students and parents appeared on porches or along boulevards to wave and shout words of greeting as vehicles honked in return.

“I saw a lot of smiles, a lot of students I haven’t seen in awhile,” Holthaus said. “Boy, it was good for the soul.”


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