By INDIA KRUG – At the end of April, students all over the district received certificates for pizza places from the Indiana Area Education Association that read: “”Your teachers miss you!” and “Dinner is on us!” The union, which represents all district teachers, asked each member to donate $100, with many donating more. The total ended up being $19,000.
The idea was instigated by social studies teacher Mr. Michael Tshudy who said, “The original idea was the result of teachers really missing their students, but also feeling fortunate to be able to continue to teach through distance learning. Ultimately it was a small token that we hoped would let students and families know that we are thinking of them and with them during this difficult time.”
The IAEA contacted seven local pizzerias throughout Indiana County to provide a free large pizza for each family in the district, with larger families receiving two. It was a great opportunity to provide revenue for businesses that were feeling the stress of the stay-at-home orders. The coupons were then mailed to approximately 2,000 families’ houses and began to brighten students’ days.
Senior Taylor Lang stated, “I was really surprised and thankful when I received the gift card! I used it the next day and my parents and I enjoyed the nice weather outside and ate together.”
Senior Maggie Conjelko shares, “It was a really nice gesture that showed how all the teachers appreciated their students. I liked how they chose community restaurants to support the local economy.”
The surprise came after the first initial month and a half of distance learning, with students beginning to adjust to daily life without seeing their teachers. Many classmates shared the coupons on social media, paired with messages about how they missed school. The effects of the closure have been felt by the entire IHS school community.
Junior Sara Kane states, “I miss the fun dynamic of my classes, classmates, and teachers. All of my teachers were so great this year and I’m really sad I didn’t get to finish the year out in classes with them.”
This generous act by Indiana Area School District teachers united the community in more ways than one. It allowed students to feel reconnected with the teachers they are used to seeing daily and remind them to stay Indiana Proud.
[Photo courtesy of Mr. Michael Tshudy]
Photo Caption: “Senior Maggie Conjelko and her family were grateful for the free pizza coupon provided by IHS teachers.”
India is a senior and joined The High Arrow because journalism matters. Since joining the staff three years ago, she has written many articles, including opinions, has made a lot of friends, and has grown to adore Bob Woodward.