Third grade teacher Jody Herzog was outside South Jordan Elementary this spring, wearing a mask, handing students their belongings that they didn’t take with them when Utah school buildings were abruptly closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was about 9 a.m., and some students started to come, and some more, and I was thinking, ‘This is great that they’re coming right away to get their things,’” she said. “I was able to talk to a few of them, and I didn’t realize that other teachers didn’t have students there. I was so oblivious. Then, there all these horns, and I remember thinking, ‘I wish they’d stop honking so I can hear my students.’ I didn’t realize it was the celebration committee coming to give me a prize, and the students were hanging around for that moment. It was one of the biggest surprises in my life.”
Along with the third grade teachers who emerged from inside the school, was Mayor Dawn Ramsey; Superintendent Anthony Godfrey; members of the Jordan Education Foundation; her principal, Bev Griffith; her family; and the school mascot, who actually was her former principal Ken Westwood, who nominated her on his last day at the school shortly before “soft closure” and being transferred to another elementary school.
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