Parents have dusted off alarm clocks and teachers have made their plans. Big yellow buses are on the road once more and school playgrounds are bustling. All over the Douglas area, schools are back in session.

The start of a new school year is one of the hardest parts of a teacher’s year. There are so many new names to learn, tons of planning and the weight of the responsibility they feel to enlighten and inspire.

That makes it a great time for the community to pull together to support our educators and their efforts. But what are the best ways we can rally behind them? Is an encouraging note enough? Or a box of chocolates?

We wanted to find out, so we asked the Douglas education community. Here’s what a few had to say:

• “As a first-year teacher, I would really like to increase the amount of parent involvement. Not only within the school, but within a student’s education. It is very important to have parents actively engaged in the student’s life. Even if it’s just to show up to parent night to show support or volunteer in the classroom. The support of parents is so important.” – Marlena Dagnino, fifth grade teacher, Sarah Marley Elementary School

• “Students not only grow academically but mentally, emotionally, and personally throughout the school year. Their success is not solely measured by their grades. I hope that my current and former students and their parents to know that they are valued for who they are, not for the grade they have earned. I want the community to understand that an education is what unlocks the potential of every student in Douglas and I would love to have them come visit our school and see the wonderful things that we are accomplishing together every day.” – Cinthya Elias, third grade teacher, Stevenson Elementary

• “Providing the right environment for learning and growing is always what teachers want, to be able to do that sometimes we need a little help, so we can focus in what is really important: students. Books, supplies, the everyday things that students need will always make things a little easier.” – Karla Wallace, Spanish Teacher, Douglas High School

Teachers need our support year-round. They’re creating the next generation of Douglas doctors, entrepreneurs, city leaders and more. We hope you’ll join us in showing appreciation and helping them every step of the way.

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