St. John Valley

Teachers go on parade to keep in touch with students

MADAWASKA, Maine — At least two dozen teachers from the Madawaska elementary and middle/high schools found a way to let their students know they were missed.

The teachers formed a parade and drove around Madawaska May 14, passing by more than 275 students’ homes to express their love for their classes. 

Madawaska Elementary School guidance counselor Tricia Armstrong organized the parade.

“Having to switch to remote learning so abruptly was hard for all,” Armstrong said. “There was definitely a sense of loss that we all had, and to some degree still have, when we were told not to come back to the buildings. So I wanted to plan something that would show the students that even though we are apart, we are still connected.” 

She would have done it sooner, but the mid-May freezings proved uncooperative, Armstrong said. 

“I want our students to know that we are still here and we miss them,” Armstrong said. “We have three weeks of school left and I hope that this will help to keep the kids and their families motivated to finish the year strong and stay engaged.” 

While on their route, the teachers saw as many senior citizens watching as there were students, Armstrong said. 

“They were so happy that it made yesterday even more special,” she said on May 15. “We made an entire community happy yesterday.” 

Shannon Migneault, mother of four children ranging from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade, said they loved the parade.  

“It really was so great to see all the teachers,” Migneault said. “We are very close with quite a few of them and have missed them dearly.”

The children made signs and decorated the driveway with chalk for the teachers. Ainsley Migneault, 12, said she loved making the signs and waving at her teachers. She added that it was “awesome” to see Bonny Tingley and Joan Albert — both teachers at the Madawaska Elementary School — in a muscle car. 

“It was especially great to see Mrs. Christine Chasse because she has been out of school for so long before this,” Aisnley said. “I really missed her and I was happy to see she is doing well.”

Migneault’s 13-year-old son, Cam, shared a similar sentiment. 

“I was glad to see that everyone is still alive,” he said.

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