Pelham BOE praises teachers who cared for kids overnight

Pelham teachers and administrators are recognized by the Pelham Board of Education during a Feb. 10 meeting at Pelham City Hall. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

Pelham teachers and administrators are recognized by the Pelham Board of Education during a Feb. 10 meeting at Pelham City Hall. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

When a child at Valley Elementary School asked if the tooth fairy was planning to visit the school the night of the winter storm on Jan. 28, the VES staff members made sure she made an appearance.

“A child at the school asked if the tooth fairy was going to visit that night,” Pelham Interim School Superintendent Dr. Tim Alford said during a Feb. 10 city Board of Education meeting. “I believe they (the staff members) made sure it was taken care of.”

The story was one of many selfless acts Pelham teachers showcased during the winter storm as hundreds of students and staff members were stuck in the city’s schools overnight.

During the Feb. 10 School Board meeting, School Board members recognized a standing-room-only crowd of Pelham teachers and administrators who ensured the kids were taken care of during the severe weather event.

“I think we should not let this time get by without publicly recognizing and honoring those who did stay at the schools all night and cared for the children in this community,” Alford said. “If ever there was a test of how caring and committed the teachers are in this community, this is it.”

Alford and the School Board members expressed their “heartfelt thanks” to the group of teachers as they allowed each school staff member to introduce themselves.

“There are not many times you get to be in the presence of heroes,” School Board President Rick Rhoades said. “We were just in a room with a boatload of them.”

The Pelham teachers joined teachers across Shelby County and the Birmingham metropolitan area in staying overnight on Jan. 28 with students whose parents were unable to pick them up in the winter storm.

On Jan. 29, Pelham police and fire crews began transporting children home using four-wheel-drive and all-terrain vehicles, and were able to deliver all students home by the end of the day.