By: Mike Rhodes—
You are appreciated!
That was the message the Muncie Community Schools Board of Trustees and the newly created Community Engagement Council hoped to communicate to teachers during the first-ever MCS appreciation luncheon held at the Horizon Convention Center in downtown Muncie.
By all accounts, they succeeded in marvelous fashion.
550 teachers, principals, board members, staff and featured speakers attended the event emceed by WLBC’s Steve Lindell.
Featured speakers for the event included remarks by Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns, City of Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler, MCS Board President James Williams and MCS Interim Superintendent Steve Edwards.
Throughout the entire event teachers were given valuable prizes from community-minded sponsors who wholeheartedly wanted to show their support for MCS teachers and the event. Everyone in attendance also left with a goodie bag.
Ball State University President Geoffrey Mearns said, “To our teachers and staff— we want to express our appreciation to you. You are the guests of honor here today. You have remained dedicated to your students and each other. All of us in this community are grateful for your service. We are indebted to you for your loyalty and perseverance.”
Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler commented on how strongly he believed in MCS teachers. “You are the ones that make a difference every day in the classrooms. Many times you have closer contact with students than family members do. We appreciate all of you. It’s going to be a great 2019 for MCS and it’s going to be because of all of you in this room today,” he said.
James Williams, MCS Board President, took the stage and immediately commented on the length of service of one particular teacher. “We have in our midst, an MCS faculty member that has been with MCS for 51 years,” he said. He then introduced Sharon Crain and invited her to join him on the stage. Williams went on to provide Crain with a whole variety of goodies including a stay at the Conrad-Hilton, a gift certificate to St. Elmo’s Steakhouse and tickets to the Indiana Repertory Theater.
In closing remarks, Ana Pichardo, MCS Director of Communications said there will be another appreciation luncheon held in May or so. She was very impressed with how quickly the idea and event came to fruition—taking only 5 weeks to put together. “I’ve been with MCS for 22 years,” she said. “We’ve never done anything like this. Ever. So I want to thank our school board and our Community Engagement Council for offering this opportunity for us. I am so honored to be a part of this team.”
Pichardo went on to explain that the mission of the Community Engagement Council is to be an advocate for MCS. And to additionally help with fundraising for MCS. Members of the newly formed Community Engagement Council are:
Cliff Johnson, Ana Quirk Hunter, Delaina Boyd, Rev. Michael Hewitt, Daniel Stallings, Frank Scott, Lori Mathis, Aimee Robertson-West, Mary Dollison, Yvonne Thompson, Jason Donati, Wilisha Scaife, Katie Washburn, Stade Fischer, Ana Pichardo, Steve Edwards and Marilyn Buck.
Three students gave remarks about how much they appreciated their teachers and their experience with MCS. Their comments are in the video below. The students are: Logan Grady, 8th grader at Northside Middle School; Titus Waters, 8th grader at Southside Middle School; and Tara Horst, MCHS Senior and National Honor Society President. (9 minutes.)
A few additional photos from the event are below:
Special thanks to the following sponsors:
Ball State University
Athletics, Emens Auditorium, Healthy Lifestyle Center, Graduate School, and Office of Community Engagement
Chartwells P-12 Dining Services
Clancy’s Car Wash
Crew Car Wash
Dairy Queen of Muncie
Heidi J. Hale
Horizon Convention Center
IVY Tech Community College of Indiana
Jennifer and James Williams
Meridian Health Services
Minnetrista Cultural Center
Randolph Inn & Suites
Red Apple Café
Shell Gas Station
Sparks Computerized Car Care
Thr3e Wise Men, Muncie
YMCA of Muncie