Principal Jennifer Tyrrell started the tradition of presenting four to five staff awards every Friday, beginning with voice and guitar teacher John Musick on Oct. 29.
“Dr. Tyrrell came into my classroom, announced that I was an award recipient, my wonderful students clapped, and that was that,” Musick said. “It made me feel amazing. I’m especially grateful to the students who nominated me and wrote such kind and generous things about me.”
After the end of the first quarter, students were emailed a form to choose any LT employee to nominate for the WeAreLT Staff Award. Nominations could stem from if staff members created a sense of belonging, helped students feel welcome at LT, went above and beyond in or outside of the classroom, or overall made a difference in their life, Tyrrell said.
Every nominated staff member receives the award regardless of the number of nominations, and has a certificate presented to them when Tyrrell randomly chooses a staff member. Each certificate includes information on why students chose the staff member for the award.
“I can recognize staff members and tell them, ‘Thank you for the great work that you’re doing here, [and] thank you for the impact that you’re having on our students,’” Tyrrell said. “[However], when it’s a student’s name and the actual paragraph or the words that students have shared about them, it makes it even more special.”
On that same day, geometry teacher Melissa Tieman also received the award.
“I emailed [Tyrrell afterward] and I said, ‘In my 20 years of teaching at LT, this is a moment I won’t forget,’” Tieman said. “Connecting with students is the best part of teaching. However, feeling valued through the administration is also important and appreciated.”
Tyrrell will continue presenting the WeAreLT staff award throughout the year to numerous staff members. She has also recognized the LT staff’s hard work in other ways, such as giving out pies and turkeys in a lottery for the Thanksgiving holiday.
“It’s been really fun to be able to say thank you and see people get excited about something that’s presumably a small thing that actually makes a big difference,” Tyrrell said.