Celebrating the Heroes/Heroines in Our Midst

December 08, 2017

Celebrating the Heroes/Heroines in Our Midst

I have always known that we have outstanding teachers and administrators. Our faculty go above and beyond for our students every single day. They go home thinking about how to better support the growth of your children; they talk to each other in the parking lot about the new ideas they have planned for the day. But when you see something day in and day out, it’s easy to take it for granted.

Every once-in-a-while, extraordinary circumstances arise that give me reason to pause, look around, and appreciate. This week provided us Angelenos with many extraordinary circumstances, and at every turn, I was humbled and heartened by the menches who come to Adat Ari El every day to shape our children.

When I drove home from a long Thursday of logistics organization, contingency planning, news watching, air quality monitoring, and checking in on those from whom I had not heard, I became overwhelmed with pride and affection for the faculty with whom I work. So, as I write to you today, it is because I realized that it would have been selfish to keep this to myself; our community deserves to hear about the little actions our teachers do to show their deep devotion to our school, to their craft, and to your children.

A teacher whose car was stolen from her driveway in the middle of the night Tuesday night FaceTimed into her parent-teacher conferences from the police station and then the rental car facility so she wouldn’t miss an opportunity to update parents on her students’ progress.

An administrator who put over a hundred hours into planning every detail of our Shabbaton came to terms with what it might mean to reschedule this core bonding opportunity for our community; our community continues to hold its breath as we look to Ojai with hopes of safety.

Three children of faculty members came to ADAT with their parents today because their own schools were closed, and their parents – your teachers – are dedicated to your children’s success.

A teacher whose husband is in Ojai fighting the fires and whose children’s schools were closed made other childcare arrangements, so she could be with her students this morning; not because she had to, but because she wanted to be there for her students.

A member of our support staff worked from home to cancel and reschedule appointments, made sure to keep our community updated, and thought ahead about all the details that go into making sure our school operates smoothly.

A teacher whose children’s daycare was threatening to close on Wednesday stayed for as many parent-teacher conferences as possible until he finally had no choice but to leave.

An administrator who lives on the other side of the Skirball fire spent all day Thursday on the phone ensuring that we had enough substitute teacher coverage, so that we could reopen our school today.

The few teachers who needed to stay home today made every single effort possible to be here, and are sorrowful that they need to stay home (though we reassured them that their classes would be well cared for).

Four faculty members with asthma are keeping their inhalers closeby.

A teacher who cared so deeply about our ability to reopen on Friday volunteered to supervise 40 children at once if needed (don’t worry, it wasn’t needed).

A teacher who, when she received the notice that we were closing Thursday, called in the morning to see if there was anyone she could help, any extra classes she could take on Friday, or anyone in the community who needed anything.

Not. One. Complaint. And these are only some of the stories.

We have a group of educators who arrive each day to teach your children, who believe wholeheartedly in what they do, who care deeply for your children, and who are committed to each other. I have seen many schools with lovely faculty cultures, but none like this. I can assure you that they teach your children how to be a caring community member because they lead by example. I am awed by them and am honored to work alongside them.

While we, at ADAT, have so much to be grateful for, those who are suffering throughout our city are not far from our thoughts. We pray for the safety of all members of our greater community affected by these tragic fires and for the men and women who are so valiantly risking their own lives to save those of others.

There are heroes and heroines in our midst every day. Some are right in our classrooms, and others are on the front lines saving lives. For each and every one of them, I thank you.

Shabbat Shalom,


2 Comments. Leave new

Wow, what truly special teachers. Well-said!

Barbara Vaccai
December 8, 2017 9:23 pm

What a lovely tribute to your extraordinary teachers.

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