Administrators at Maspeth High School decided to surprise their staff with gifts before Christmas weekend.
Assistant Principals Jesse Pachter and Stefan Singh drove around New York City, from the Bronx to Long Island, to deliver Maspeth gear, including hats, long-sleeved shirts and sweatshirts, to 60 staff members. The swag was a way to say “thank you” to their teachers for all they’ve done this year.
“Teachers need to know that they’re appreciated now more than ever,” said Pachter. “We were planning to do it before the holiday break, but then the mayor closed the schools and we haven’t been able to reopen since.”
Pachter said it took them three days — from Monday, Dec. 21, to Wednesday, Dec. 23 — to drive to each teacher’s home with the help of some apps for delivery workers.
“It was such a lovely thing to do,” said Melanie Coats, a dance teacher at Maspeth High School.
Pachter said the holidays are normally the best times to be in school, as everyone is festive and exchanging gifts. But since they can’t do it this year, with high schools remaining closed due to the uptick in COVID-19 infection rates, and with no set reopening date, they had to get creative to not only provide a quality education, but also keep people’s spirits up.
“It was such a nice surprise when Mr. Singh called and said that both he and Mr. Pachter were dropping off some Maspeth gear and spreading some holiday cheer,” said Michael Kazaks, a history teacher. “I was so appreciative that they drove so far out to see me, knowing that they had been driving around all day.”
Pachter said they hope to do the same for the graduating class next year — which will be an even bigger feat with about 400 seniors to drive to. He believes at the rate things are going, and how the Department of Education didn’t allow graduation ceremonies last summer, June won’t be too different.
“There’s so much stuff going on in this world. Now there’s two other strands [of COVID]. If I’m feeling it, I know the kids are feeling it, the faculty feels it,” said Pachter. “We just want to honor everyone in the building and create a community where everyone feels valued and appreciated.”