Some Superheroes use Chalkboards
Wednesday, April 1, 2020 | 10:06 AM
On a recent spring day, Mallory Gurney, a kindergarten teacher at Blessed Francis Seelos Academy in Wexford, loaded her car to deliver essential learning materials to her students. Although the students began remote learning on March 23 due to concerns with the Coronavirus Outbreak, they have not seen Mrs. Gurney since January when she left for maternity leave. The students have not been in school since March 13.
This particular Sunday afternoon, Mrs. Gurney asked her students to dress up as superheroes in honor of all the hospital, first responders, and grocery store personnel that are helping the country through this difficult time. “I wanted to show how strong we are in fighting this and how we want to be back together very soon. So, I delivered school essentials to every student,” said Gurney. The essentials included learning materials, and she also included a few new school supplies, snacks, and bubbles for each of them. The school materials were lessons that will coordinate with their online activities that she hopes will get them to May 9. “It is such a horrible time that our nation is going through and for a little child, they don’t understand why they can’t go to school to see their friends and teacher. So, if I could bring a smile to their face, then I was determined to do that.”
Mrs. Gurney dressed up, too. She wore a Superman costume, along with blue latex medical gloves. She was careful to keep the proper distance from each student and their family, and in two cases, left the packages at the front door without seeing the students.
“Mrs. Gurney is a shining example of the amazing teachers we have. Superheroes come in many shapes and sizes; some even use a chalkboard. All of our teachers are heroes!” said Mr. Robert Reese, principal of Seelos Academy’s 350 students.”
The school has students from 12 area school districts, making for a long, but rewarding afternoon. “I had tears in my eyes as I pulled up and saw signs, decorated sidewalks and driveways with “I love you, Mrs. Gurney” and “I miss you, Mrs. Gurney”, and families standing outside waiting to just give a simple but very memorable wave in the distance.” Mallory drove over 100 miles that day to visit each of the 22 homes of her students.
The students loved the visit also. Easton Welker of Franklin Park, dressed as Black Panther. “Easton was so excited for the visit! We watched a special video on Sunday morning from Mrs. Gurney on the Flipgrid app that their Kindergarten class has been using to maintain a personal connection with the teachers and other classmates. We then got Easton’s Halloween costume out of the attic and anxiously awaited Mrs. Gurney’s arrival. It was a rare treat to be visited by our real life superhero,” said Easton’s mother Alyssa.