According to my mother, the teacher, this week is the most important holiday of the year — Teacher Appreciation Week. As a charter school leader, I have enjoyed treating our staff to small treats each day (read: food). But today, I want to take a slightly different approach and use this week of celebrating educators as an opportunity to publicly thank the central office staff of East Baton Rouge Parish schools.

Two weeks ago, we were faced with our greatest challenge yet when a terrible Saturday afternoon car accident critically injured one of our teachers and placed her in the ICU.

On the following day, EBR stepped up. Within hours, even though it was Sunday, I had received more than 10 calls from central office staffers asking how they could help. When our students and staff returned to campus, there were crisis counselors there to help them cope and they have stayed with us since.

We had to face the worst thing we could imagine — and we were stronger because EBR was standing next to us.

We have always been appreciative to be a part of EBR — but I have never been as proud to be a part of the district as I was that Sunday afternoon. On that day, the central office staff exemplified the historical knowledge, technical skill and incredible compassion we have seen from them over the past three years.

During this week, when we celebrate both Teacher Appreciation Week and National Charter School Week, it is gratifying to recognize that no matter what our occasional differences may be, the students always win when we work together.

Sarah Broome

executive director, THRIVE

Baton Rouge