South Jordan community comes together to thank educatorsFeb 10, 2021 02:09PM ● By Julie Slama
Rep. Susan Pulsipher, Mayor Dawn Ramsey and Jordan School District President Tracy Miller hold up some of the thank-you notes written by the community for educators at South Jordan schools. (Julie Slama/City Journals)
By Julie Slama | [email protected]
This winter, about 1,000 school employees in South Jordan were thanked for not only supporting students’ education, but also for teaching during the hard and uncertain times surrounding COVID-19.
There were cards from the mayor and City Council, Jordan School Board, South Jordan’s state house representative and senator, the chamber of commerce, Rotary Club, Jordan Education Foundation, and residents, who were part of an “unprecedented community effort to thank our teachers and school staffs here in South Jordan,” Mayor Dawn Ramsey said.
Daybreak and LiveDaybreak donated funds to the thank-you drive so $50 gift cards were distributed and with the help of Mountain America, they were purchased without any fees.
“We’re excited to support teachers who love what they do,” said Spencer Carver, who is with Mountain America business development, and has served on the Jordan Education Foundation three years. “They’re our frontline workers supporting our kids in South Jordan. We want them to know we value them.”
Right before winter break, Ramsey, Rep. Susan Pulsipher, and Jordan School Board Vice President (now President) Tracy Miller distributed the cards, letters and gift cards to South Jordan schools.
The three formed a bond and a group, which they call “Serving South Jordan” and look for service opportunities in their hometown. They started by serving seniors, providing letters, masks and sanitizers to some of the population’s most vulnerable during the pandemic.
“With all the negativity, we wanted to bring a positive focus,” Miller said. “We want to give back to people and recognize them for the good they do in the world.”
So, after helping seniors, they asked themselves, “Who’s next?” Miller said. “We all said teachers. We want to support them.”
This was before the state legislature promised to provide a $1,500 one-time bonus for licensed educators and non-administrative staffers a $1,000 bonus who are teaching in-person. Pulsipher, who has previously served on the Jordan School Board, said there would be further discussions about extending it to the online teachers as well, but in the meantime, she hoped this would show a support from the community they serve.
Ramsey, who has served in the PTA leadership, said the community effort easily fell in place.
“It didn’t take much when we mentioned what we wanted to do. Everyone in the community recognizes our educators’ sacrifice and heroic efforts. We’re so grateful,” she said.
Pulsipher said that the thank-you letters will be something they can appreciate and reread.
“Sometimes, they may only write or hear frustrations from people, but these are from the same community who truly appreciates them,” she said. “Some people thanked us for thinking to reach out to them; they were so excited to participate. It warms my heart that they want to be a part of it. It’s a small way to bring some good news in what has been a difficult year.”
Miller agrees: “We want teachers to recognize we know how difficult it has been and we want to continue to support them and the learning process.”
Ramsey said that sometimes people just need someone to initiate the appreciation effort. Once the effort got underway, even more people stepped up to thank the teachers from writing and gathering the notes to sorting them for easy delivery.
“We have an amazing South Jordan community and our group provides opportunities for us to serve our own, but the story isn’t about us,” she said. “It’s about expressing our gratitude for the service these teachers and staff members are providing and how everyone stepped up to make it happen. It’s a great way to end the year on a high note.”