Robin Torbeck, Christa Starling, Ruby Pagan, Emily Seger Pagan, Joe Pagan, Tyson Starling, and Sydney Schneider (running in the foreground) were some of the many parents and students welcoming the teachers back to school on Aug. 29. PHOTO COURTESY OF CATE SCHNEIDER

Teachers welcomed back to school with surprise

BAR HARBOR — Conners Emerson teachers were in for a surprise when they returned to school on Aug. 29.

The day before students were set to return, teachers were greeted at the school entrance by appreciative crowds of parents and students holding signs and cheering them on.

The welcome party was planned over the summer by Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) volunteers. Cate Schneider, one of the organizers, said she got the idea when she watched teachers leave the school to line the sidewalks, holding signs and cheering for students on their last day of school in June.

“I always knew the teachers and faculty at this school were particularly caring,” she said. “But having them say goodbye to the students in this way… it literally brought tears to my eyes.”

Schneider mentioned to fellow PTSA member Christa Starling that it would be nice to welcome teachers back with the same enthusiasm that the teachers had showed the students.

Starling and Schneider enlisted the help of the PTSA and other interested parents. They spread the word through email and social media, asking community members to gather at the school on the teachers’ first official day.

“It was a fabulous turnout!” Schneider said. “We were so impressed with the amount of enthusiasm from the community, and that none of the teachers found out beforehand.”

“They really are the future of our community,” Schneider said about the teachers, “and we wanted to show how much we appreciate their hard work and dedication each and every day.”


Becky Pritchard
Former Islander reporter Becky Pritchard covered the town of Bar Harbor and was a park ranger in Acadia for six seasons.
Becky Pritchard

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