Unsung Heroes wave goodbye: How to thank your teachers in a unique way


All our Unsung Heroes, collage made by Ella Peabody

With the closing of this 2022-2023 school year, it is important to remember important and key memories from the past and the people that made those memories possible. Those who sparked hearts and added inspiration could be in the form of humor at times of stress, or providing tissues in times of sadness, providing beyond the job description. Those who made learning fun and interactive, without knowing, created lasting relationships that will be there until graduation, whenever that may be depending on the student.   

There are always deeds that can be done to ensure others feel cared for in this world full of stressful, hard situations. The simplest and smallest words can change a person’s whole viewing of their whole day and beyond. 

The staff at HHS always have an eye on how to do this, making students and fellow staff feel more appreciated. With an everlasting smile and an upbeat attitude.

 Everyone deserves to feel that feeling of belonging and inspiration, from HHS students to staff. 

Sometimes, however, it can be hard to know exactly what to say. Seeking the right words can seem daunting. But maybe with some guidance, acknowledging and chatting with teachers and staff can become less of a task and more of a pleasure.   

HHS staff give some ideas of what is meaningful to hear from students, making this exchange a less stressful experience.  

District Officer Zac Rohlfer, an “Unsung Hero” already featured, said that a thank you meant for him means understanding the impact his job has, not following stereotypes but recognizing what he has to face each day to care for the district. 

“The biggest way that people can show me, and really any police officer appreciation, is to take the time to understand policing and not jump to conclusions from the first thing they see on the news.”

 And recognizing his job for all it does, not just the negative aspects that come with all positions.  

He said, “People can thank him by knowing that 99% of what the police do is to genuinely help others. He said that people can thank him by not allowing less than 1% of bad officers or even good officers who make a bad mistake to direct their view on policing. 

“And people can thank me and other officers by just giving a police officer a smile or a wave when you see them out and about,” said Rohlfer.

Julie Sarakatsannis, counselor secretary, said that a thank you note, drawing, or picture is the best thank you, anyone, could ever give her. She likes to hang these notes by her desk as a daily reminder and motivation throughout the day.  

“The next best thing is a student simply stopping by my desk and just saying thank you. A simple thank you for providing mints for me all year or thanks for smiling and welcoming me into the counseling office kindly makes me very happy.”

It can often be hard finding the right words or actions that make teachers feel truly loved and valued. When thanking these day-to-day heroes that impact so many lives, a simple thank you or even a quick conversation can mean so much. Finding something unique to that person, something that is special about them can be such a powerful statement and way to show how much you truly appreciate all they do.