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The familiar horns of passersby resonated throughout the Mandalay community on May 7. Instead of the front-line workers that are usually honored during this COVID-19 pandemic, first grade teacher Christine Kopp’s class took to the Wantagh streets to demonstrate their appreciation of this longtime teacher.  

Parent and parade organizer Christa Higbee said Teacher Appreciation Week (May 4-8) was the impetus for the parade and that the class and the students’ parents wanted to show Ms. Kopp appreciation for going “above and beyond” for her students during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the car parade, featuring students and parents with brightly decorated posters, the class sent a virtual slideshow of heartfelt messages. Ms. Kopp also received a special dinner and a plate of delicious cookies to sweeten her stay at home.

Ms. Kopp said that she was overwhelmed by the students’ and parents’ kindness, especially at a time when it is increasingly difficult to know whether she is making an impact. “I am humbled and grateful for their appreciation and love,” Ms. Kopp said. “It meant everything to me to see the student’s smiling faces as they passed my house and a memory I will cherish forever.”