Columbus high school football players thank educators in the classroom

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- A simple thank you can go a long way.

For educators at Columbus High School, a token of appreciation showed right up to their doors.

Seniors on the football team wanted to let teachers know they’re valued.

Before the final play on the field, seniors surprised their favorite teachers with their jerseys.

Educators have inspired students over the last four years and supported them through hardships.

Touchdowns and Friday night lights, the clock ticks as the final game of the season at Columbus High School approaches.

Before senior football players make their last run down the field, they’re walking the hallways to say thank you to educators.

” Teachers don’t come like her anymore,” said senior Elijah Short.

Elijah Short has known Mrs. Hairston since his freshman year of high school.

Short said he wouldn’t be where he is now if it wasn’t for her support.

“She taught me a lot of things this year and the years before that. She encouraged me to stay on top of it and make better grades,” said Short.

” He’s a perfect example of a student-athlete. He’s an honor student. I know how hard he’s worked to be on the team and show leadership. To see him and who he is now is just a great feeling. It’s just a great honor for him to pick me,” said teacher Yvonne Hairston.

And the list doesn’t stop there…15 senior players surprised their favorite teachers on a job well done.

Anthony Thompson chose Cicely Smith.

” She always keeps me going, pushing me the right way, making sure I got to class on time and making sure I’m a great student,” said Anthony Thompson.

Smith says there were several challenges to face during the pandemic. She’s grateful to see support in the classroom.

” This year has been a very challenging year for most teachers, so it’s very uplifting to know that with everything that’s going on, a student cares and appreciates you,” said Smith.

And it didn’t matter what kind of class it was—Quincy Lavender it’s about how educators helped navigate students on their journey over the last four years.

” Teachers step up. Some people don’t even grow up with people in the household. I’m not one of those people, but there are people out here without a good family. Teachers help them when they come to school. They help them build their life up to be better. Mrs.Petty just always inspired me, and I could go to her and talk about stuff,” said Lavender.

” The reason why I do it. It’s not for the money or the glamour. It’s to see my students become successful. Some days you feel like you’re overlooked, unheard, or paid attention to, and when he came to the door to ask me that, it made me feel good,” said teacher Hattie Petty.

Dozens of family and students attended Senior night.

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