Teachers show students they care with neighborhood car parade


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Manatee Elementary School Principal Shannon Daly stands by a vehicle she rode in as part of Manatee's parade on March 27.

Chris Bonanno

A trio of local elementary schools held We Miss You parades, where teachers and staff drove through neighborhoods near their respective schools in late March. 

The first of these events took place March 27, when Manatee Elementary held a parade in and around neighborhoods in the vicinity of the school, which is located off Viera Boulevard.

“We had two parades, one on this side of (Interstate) 95 and one in the neighborhoods on the other side of 95 so we could hit just about all of our students,” said Shannon Daly, the school principal. “... We have such an amazing staff here in Manatee that they supported this here in a big way.”

As was the case in all three of the parades, teachers and staff rode in vehicles, at least some of which featured positive messages and school colors. 

It’s rare to see faculty and staff interacting with students and parents on a Sunday. That’s just what happened March 29 when representatives from Quest Elementary School, located on Trafford Drive in Viera, held its parade. 

“I am very thrilled,” said Christine Boyd, the principal at Quest, as she held a school foam finger and a pom-pom clad in blue and white. “… The faculty came to me and said that they wanted to create a parade to show our Quest students, our Quest families, how much we missed them and how much we loved them. And, we also wanted to create some excitement as we kick off our online learning.”

“I was so excited,” added Gabrielle Ivey, a teacher at the school, whose vehicle was adorned with an inspirational poster. “I spent all night coming up with posters and just spreading the word to my families. And, I’m just really excited for this opportunity to be able to send a wave and a smile to my kiddos.”

Finally, as Brevard County 

Public Schools implemented online learning March 30, teachers and staff from Suntree Elementary, located on Jordan Blass Drive, drove through local neighborhoods to wish students and their families well. 

“It’s their (the teachers’) way of just jumping into this digital learning, this distance learning that we’re starting up. It’s all new for us and we’re just going to try something new, but we’re all excited,” said Suntree Principal Shari Tressler.