Students celebrate teachers with positive announcements

During a SMILE4LIFE club member, adviser Kerry Rutigliano discusses the teacher appreciation announcements with her students.

Allie Ledsky

During a SMILE4LIFE club member, adviser Kerry Rutigliano discusses the teacher appreciation announcements with her students.

Allie Ledsky, Guest Writer

The SMILE4LIFE club has been doing teacher appreciation announcements on the PA each morning.

The SMILE4LIFE club adviser, Kerry Rutigliano, believes the club’s mission is to bring joy to people and spread positive thinking around the school. She said, “Sharing joy, encouraging others, the power of joy is not just determined by positive circumstances that we have. It’s to encourage each other but when we do, not only do we impact others, but we are impacted in a positive way ourselves.”

Rutigliano feels that the teachers aren’t valued enough for all that they do. She said, “Teachers appreciate students and students want to appreciate teachers because of the demands of their teaching life. They want to show that positive words speak life, create energy, and so it has a positive domino effect.”

Rutigliano wanted the students to share positivity by spreading kind words about the teachers. She said, “When you are immersed in a culture that celebrates the positive and recognizes the joy, then most likely when difficulties happen, you will have a culture that leans on each other.”

Sophomore club member Kristina Kindle decided to recognize French teacher Gina Burich as her appreciated person.
Kindle said, “Madame is an amazing teacher. She has such a fun, energetic, and kind personality. There’s never a time in her class where I’m not laughing. She makes the class a fun environment to learn in while helping her students get better at French.”

Rutigliano thinks the teacher appreciation announcements fit the club’s mission. She said, “SMILE4LIFE Club does a lot of different things. This is one activity and in terms of matching up, trying to get kids that are from every grade level, different backgrounds, and trying to have as much representation from the student body as possible, it’s a great activity.“

Rutigliano noted that SMILE4LIFE is the only club doing this activity. She said, “What SMILE4LIFE Club does is special because it celebrates the power of joy. The students that founded the SMILE4LIFE Club focused on the science of joy. You can engage with joy on intention. I think that’s what makes this particular activity match with our mission.”

Kindle believes that SMILE4LIFE is doing this for the teachers to make them smile. She said, “This is one way to show appreciation for the teachers at MHS and to make them feel good.”

Rutigliano stated that SMILE4LIFE has a large number of members. “It’s very dynamic because you know, kids have very different schedules so attending one meeting doesn’t preclude you from being in the club. We do have multiple meetings and so really our aim is to be as inviting and flexible as possible so kids can participate when they can.“

Sophomore Angelina Melaragno is also a member of SMILE4LIFE and decided to join SMILE4LIFE because she wanted to radiate positivity. She said, “In little ways, I wanted to brighten up other students’ and teachers’ days.”

Melaragno chose math teacher Tereza Buzdin as the staff member to recognize on the PA. Melaragno said, “I chose [Buzdon] because she is the teacher I could always talk to, ask for help, and she always understood.”

Rutigliano mentioned that many teachers were chosen by students. She said, “We could do month after month after month. SMILE4LIFE Club has so many members, [so] I’m just kind of arbitrarily choosing day by day but we could go the whole year.”