On Teacher Appreciation Day, West Hartford Superintendent of Schools Tom Moore sent a special thank you to message teachers – performed by singer-songwriter and West Hartford Public Schools parent Javier Colon.
By Ronni Newton
Tuesday was not only Teacher Appreciation Day, but it also happened to be the day that Gov. Ned Lamont made official the news that most had anticipated: Schools throughout the state will remain closed for the remainder of the academic year.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, West Hartford teachers were asked to completely change the way they did things – with only a few days to plan, and are now in their sixth week of operating their classrooms remotely. Moore said he is so proud of how the teachers rose to the occasion, and is so thankful for everyone’s hard work and dedication.
Even before he knew the announcement would be coming Tuesday, Moore had already planned this thank you video, recorded by West Hartford resident and West Hartford Public Schools parent Javier Colon, winner of the first season of NBC’s “The Voice,” for Teacher Appreciation Day.
The following is Moore’s message, and below is the very special rendition of “You Raise Me Up” that Colon recorded to honor the teachers.
I wanted to send a thank you to all of you who have stepped up to provide for our children during these past seven and a half weeks of at home learning. Now, with the governor’s announcement that we will officially not be returning to our school buildings this year, we face six more weeks of a style of education that few of us imagined when we decided to be teachers. In time, we will send more information out about our end of the year closing plans for you to return to your classroom and get things you might need, how we will get supplies back from our students, high school graduation, and some way to bring closure to our year, both for us and for our kids and families. While we are finishing this year, I am keenly aware that we have only three months to prepare for a 2020-2021 school year that will look very different than any we have experienced.
Today though, I want to share that West Hartford’s parents have sending me messages of thanks for all that you are doing with their children in overwhelming numbers. Our community is proud of our schools, and our children love their teachers. Thank you, now more than ever, for what you do.
I am very fortunate to have, over the years, gotten to know many parents well, and to consider them friends. One of our West Hartford treasures, and a parent and great supporter of West Hartford Public Schools, is Javier Colon, the winner of the first season of The Voice. He and I, along with Juan Melian, thought he could provide a better thanks than me (and you don’t want me singing, although my Thunder Road is top notch), and Craig Diamond did a great job to put it to video. Please click on the following link, and know that Javier is speaking not just for us, but for the entire West Hartford community. Enjoy, and thanks to Javier, Craig and Juan for their help in doing this.
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