College Community’s t-shirts spread positive message about public education

Published: Sep. 30, 2022 at 4:17 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -Staff in the College Community School District want to change any negative perception associated with public education by celebrating schools in a unique way.

On Friday all 1,000 employees in the District wore the same t-shirt. It’s a sign of unity with a positive message about the difference educators make every day.

The shirts say, ‘Ask me how I made a difference today.’

“Our staff whether they’re driving a bus, whether they’re serving food, whether they’re in the classroom teaching, or whether they’re supporting students as a paraprofessional they make thousands of differences in the lives of our kids everyday,” said Dr. Doug Wheeler, Superintendent at College Community Schools.

We asked some staff members what kind of difference they make.

“You know even just a simple act of being there to greet them in the morning and say hello so that when they walk in the door they know that they’re welcome and belong and feel ready to start the day,” said Amy Beach, Principal at Prairie Ridge Elementary

Jesse Gearheart is an Industrial Technology Teacher at Prairie Point Middle School. He said his hands on classes make a difference.

“So they’re getting a practical almost real world experience,” Gearheart explained.

All across the district staff are reminding colleagues and all the rest of us why what they do is important.

“There was a little bit of a misconception I would say from some in the public that don’t understand what’s going on in public schools. And our message is to try to say hey ask me how I made a difference, this is what I’m doing in my class,” said Gearheart.

It’s about changing a narrative around public education.

“Whether you’re a teaching in College Community or Cedar Rapids or Linn-Mar, please ask an educator in one of those settings how they’ve made a difference that day and I think you’d be surprised at how many differences they do make,” said Wheeler.

Whether it’s pouring time into lesson plans, building positive relationships with students, or a friendly smile, it’s a message you couldn’t miss Friday. And it’s a message the District hopes will spread.

“Every educator in this building makes a difference every day and has a strong impact on kids and these are the stories that we want to share,” said Beach.

While this took place in the College Community School District, Superintendent Wheeler said they want to champion public education as a whole, across the state.