What Staff Mean to our Student Body: Staff Appreciation Week Recap

A look into staff appreciation week and what staff mean to our Rock Canyon community


media by Svea Erickson, Murrie Dodge

The Staff lounge decorated for a super hero pizza party 19 April 2021.

by Svea Erickson and Murrie Dodge

Teachers play an important role in the lives of young students, especially those in high school. According to University of the People, “Teachers truly are the backbone of society. They are role models to children, offer guidance and dedication and give young people the power of education.” Over the past week, many different clubs and groups within the Rock Canyon community have sponsored daily treats and lunches for the amazing Rock Canyon staff. The theme for this year’s staff appreciation week was superheroes. 

Rock Canyon has 180 staff members in the building, including volunteer coordinator Karen Brankin, who has been a part of the staff for 13 years. For many years, Brankin has worked hard to organize staff appreciation week, and this year was no different. “Over the years, and more so now than ever, teachers really like hearing from their students. 

I know I had a teacher that really inspired me, so it’s really important to thank them,” Brankin said. 

Teachers and staff members alike play a much larger role in our community than just teaching the student body. 

“Our teachers participate in a lot of things around the community. They are great leaders, and they are inspiring for you guys as students. There are a lot of things that go [on] behind the scenes, and they do more than just teach; they are coaches. They do volunteering. They do a lot for us,” Brankin said. 

Teachers and staff shared their favorite day of staff appreciation week and commented on what the week meant to them. 

“Gift card day was my favorite! I love that the staff at Rock Canyon have a week to be recognized by our students and parents. It is a good reminder that all of the hard work we have put into this year has not gone unnoticed,” biology teacher Aby Boente said.

Wednesday was Crumbl cookie day, which was a popular hit among the Rock Canyon staff. 

“My favorite day was Wednesday, the Crumbl cookies day! Overall, staff appreciation week is very special to me, and being able to see how we [the teachers] affect the kids is important. Knowing that you have an effect on the kids is huge,” chemistry teacher Kerry Hinton said.

Across the board, teachers and staff alike agreed that staff appreciation week gives them an opportunity to see the impact that they have on the Rock Canyon community. 

“I think all the days were great. I don’t know that I have a favorite one– it was very kind and something special to look forward to each day. Staff appreciation week allows for us [the teachers] to be reminded about why we do what we do and it allows for us to feel appreciated that somebody recognizes the hard work that goes into the job as a teacher,” social studies teacher Kate Hartline said. 


Teacher Shout Outs from Rock Canyon Students!

 “I think the teacher that has impacted me the most has been Mrs. Dale. She has encouraged me and helped me develop my skills. Her kindness and [the choir] community have been a home for me over all my years of high school so far,” Kinley Hartz ‘22 said.

“This year I had Mr. Handy for U.S. History first semester and sociology this semester. He cares about his students which makes learning a lot easier. He treats students like friends instead of people he looks down to and it makes class much more fun and enjoyable,” Taylor Schmahl ‘23 said.

“Mr. Gregory has made a huge impact on my life. He is always super excited about teaching which has made me as a student excited to learn in his class,” Tyler Carley ‘21 said.

“Mr. McClurg always makes RCTV fun and enjoyable and he is always supportive of the students’ creative ideas. It is always a pleasure to have his class,” Myles Rubin ‘23 said. 

“Ms. Whitney, my English II Honors teacher, is who inspires me everyday to continue to keep persisting with English. As a person who is mainly driven by math and sciences, it can often be challenging for me to enjoy English. However, Ms. Whitney has found a way to grasp my attention with the topic,” Alex Cutone ‘23 said.