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Signs Connect Students to the Heart of MTES

Manchester Township Elementary School students got a special surprise from their teachers over spring break as signs saying “The Heart of MTES is where our Dragons are” began appearing on their front lawns. The signs feature heart-shaped photos of the school and the school’s dragon mascot logo.

According to MTES Principal Linda Waldron, the idea was a joint effort. “We knew after the first week of remote learning we wanted to do something to recognize all of our students. Everyone is doing something special for their kids, we just tried to think of something a little different.” She said that her son uses lawn signs in his district to celebrate individual students and she thought MTES could do it for all of their families. So she shared the idea with secretaries Trish Conti, Jaime Mackenzie and Terry Marcinzyck and they loved it. 

“We tossed around ideas for the signage and Trish suggested the saying ‘The Heart of MTES is Where our Dragons Are.’ Of course I added the (school motto) ‘We Believe in You.’  Jaime worked with the sign company, Sign Up Signs and Promotions in Beachwood, to create a design. Terry created a spreadsheet of all families and we realized we needed 410 signs so each family would get one,” Waldron said. Funds for the signs came from the school’s student activity fund, which is supported by the school’s fundraising activities. “And that's how they came to life. A little token, a huge group effort, and all out of pure love!”

Waldron said they hoped to get the signs in time for Spring Break week, thinking they would have time to deliver them then. The signs were delivered on Thursday of the break week.  “I got a call saying they were being delivered to the school. Naturally I was concerned, no one was in this week, but it turns out UPS just left them in front of the school. 20 boxes. Luckily Al Layton, our amazing custodian, lives close by and went over and brought them into the gym and we used that as the staging area.”

Vice Principal Jill Moore helped Waldron count out all the signs and stakes, and Conti came up with a plan to make labels for each family and separate them by sections of town. They sent out a Remind notification to staff that said ‘Calling all Volunteers - help paint MTES Community Blue and Gold - Place a sign at each family home - we have lists and signs.’ Waldron said that in an hour more than half the signs were gone and the rest went out Friday in less than half an hour. Teachers drove around neighborhoods and placed them on students’ lawns, to the delight of students and families, many of whom posted photos and thank you’s to social media or sent them by email and text.

“It was a nice surprise to catch these smiling faces in the act! So blessed to be a part of our MTES family!” said a parent on Facebook. She posted a photo of her children in front of the sign and the teacher’s car making the delivery.

Another parent posted a photo of her child with the sign on Twitter, commenting, “Thank you to the amazing #MTES staff for their amazing job during this difficult time. Even at the distance our kids can feel the love. #MTESFAMILY.”

“The support from teachers and para's was overwhelming. It was the best two days of spring break ever. The emails and text messages with pictures and thank you's have truly warmed my heart,” said Waldron.