December Monthly Spotlight: Yorkville Elementary!

The Count Your Blessings sign on Ms. Lee’s desk

2020 has been a difficult year, leaving many of us feeling exhausted and burnt-out. While we always recommended acknowledging the amazing faculty and staff members at your school, this task is especially important this year. Educators have been through the ringer this year with shifting educational models and implementing COVID-19 precautions, all while trying to keep their own families safe. Yorkville Elementary School in Gibson County has done a phenomenal job of boosting morale this year by recognizing their faculty and staff in fun and creative ways.

During a difficult semester, Yorkville’s Principal, Ms. Sharon Lee, focused on the message: Count Your Blessings. Practicing gratitude is a wonderful way to increase happiness and deal with adverse experiences. During each day’s announcements, Ms. Lee gives an encouraging message over the intercom with a reminder to work hard & count your blessings.

Ms. Lee, along with district support, has led a variety of initiatives to encourage and acknowledge staff this year. In their latest school-wide celebration, teachers enjoyed slushies with their students and an afternoon of non-instructional, fun activities of teachers' choice, such as playing outside. This was done as individual classes to allow for social distancing. ALL students were allowed to participate in this morale-boosting day.

Who doesn’t love coffee? Yorkville staff enjoyed a gift of coffee from the school administrators and board members on two occasions. The first was “just because”! The second was provided by an outgoing board member as a show of appreciation and as a farewell.

Staff lunch provided by board members upon return to building

Staff lunch provided by board members upon return to building

The staff also enjoyed a lunch provided by the newly-elected board member when returning to the building from virtual learning.

Yorkville Staff also enjoyed some fall fun this year! Staff members were allowed to dress up for Halloween! Further, teacher’s were acknowledged through the Purple Pumpkin. Acknowledged staff members were allowed to pull a gift from the Purple Pumpkin & had their picture made with it as well.

Coming up in December, Yorkville staff will enjoy the 12 Days of Christmas. During the 12 instructional days leading up to Christmas, staff members will be allowed to wear jeans! What a fun and FREE way to show appreciation to staff in a what can be exhausting time of year.

Great work, Yorkville Elementary! We are so proud of your hard work, and we are delighted to share your story with our region.

Do you have a story to share? Learn more about how to be featured in a monthly spotlight here.