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Public School Foundation Hosts Novice Teachers Tea

After a string of extremely hot days, the weather in Chapel Hill cooperated, cooling off in honor of the newest CHCCS teachers to enjoy a patio celebration at the Weathervane Restaurant, for the twelfth annual Public School Foundation (PSF) Novice Teachers’ Tea.This year, the event was co-sponsored by the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Association of Educators (CHCAE).

PSF Executive Director, Lynn Lehmann, said, “It is a simple concept to thank them for choosing us. In 2007, the organization was looking for a way to recognize and reward teachers for choosing CHCCS to begin their careers with the hope that we would be able to retain these teachers as the years go on.”

Teachers began to filter in and take their seats at 4:00, but people continued to arrive till after 4:30. A spread of finger foods and desserts, in addition to the cool breeze and patio greenery, worked wonders to revive their energy, after full days in their classrooms.

CHCAE officers, Brian Link and Sally Merryman, were on hand to greet the guests as co-hosts. “Beginning last year, CHCAE has co-sponsored the event with the PSF,” Merryman said. “We are thrilled to partner with the PSF for this event because it allows us as an Association to support the district's newest teachers.  It is critical to offer support and networking opportunities because it is so common for new teachers to isolate and overwork themselves. This social event is a great way for them to gather in an informal setting and talk to others who may be in the same boat.” 

Superintendent Pam Baldwin said to the teachers, “We want you to know how much we appreciate that you chose us. This is the most challenging and most rewarding job you’ll ever have.”

Lehmann drew raffle tickets, awarding prizes of new laptops and printers to four lucky recipients. Every new teacher left with a gift bag that included a $100 check, as well as gift cards and other thank-you items.

PSF Board Chair, May Martin Bryan, said, “The Public School Foundation is honored to welcome these new teachers to our district, and hopes they will stay with Chapel Hill-Carrboro for years. Whatever we can do to entice them with good food, fellowship, and a raffle! PSF looks forward to working with them to enhance their teaching experiences and to make their classrooms even better.”

Director of Talent Acquisition and HR Programming, Sherri Morris, said, "The Novice Teacher Tea is a highlight of the year for our beginning teachers. It is such a special event and a wonderful example of how our district embraces and supports beginning teachers. Teachers enjoy this opportunity to fellowship and reconnect with one another in a relaxed, social atmosphere. We are extremely grateful for the Public School Foundation's commitment to making our first year teachers feel so valued."