Sunshine Club Boosts Teacher Morale


Mr. Thomas Ruhf

Teachers participated in an impromptu faculty choir, the Spartairs, during the holidays.

Sarah Jacobson, Editor-in-Chief

Throughout the school year, there are plenty of activities around the school to boost students’ spirits and keep them motivated. Students need these activities to help them stay happy and involved during the ups and downs of the school year. However, many students don’t consider that teachers need these same encouragements. That is where the Sunshine Club comes in.

“The Sunshine Club is for trying to cheer people up,” club leader and learning support teacher Mr. Matthew Miller said. “We have some monthly socials. In the winter we have a hot chocolate social out in the courtyard. We do an egg hunt in the spring, we’ve had piñatas. We’re just trying to get teachers out of their classrooms and interact[ing] with each other a little more.”

The Sunshine Club was started by former family consumer science Mrs. Linda Gross, who retired in 2016. Originally, the club was designed to provide emotional support for teachers. For instance, if there was a birth or death in the family, the teacher would receive a card or some flowers.

However, when Mr. Miller took over, the role of the club evolved to focus on improving morale. Now, the teachers have monthly socials and seasonal activities in order to encourage them to mingle and socialize with one another.

“I remember around Easter, [the club] did an easter egg hunt and they filled the easter eggs with little messages that were kind of funny and there were a couple of them that had gift cards,” Chinese teacher Mrs. Patricia Gouck said. “I thought that was really fun.”

For Mr. Miller, the main goal of the club is to provide teachers with a good time. The communication between teachers is the most important part of the club. During club gatherings, teacher have the chance to talk with fellow educators that they might not normally have the chance to connect with.

In the past, the club has hosted hot chocolate gatherings for the teachers as well as other food oriented events. Not all of the club’s activities are teacher exclusive; before the winter break, some teachers got together to perform holiday songs for the students before the school day started.

“[The caroling] made me feel good. I thought it was a different change of pace from previous years,” junior Michael Karol said. “They absolutely should [do something like that again] because it made the hallways feel more welcoming and more festive.”

Although students might not be a part of the Sunshine Club, they still benefit from the club’s activities. The monthly socials and considerate cards let teachers know that someone cares about them, and in turn, they are able to repay that kindness to their students.

“I think [students] maybe don’t see their teachers and how they interact outside the classroom. We’re trying to lighten the mood and do fun things,” Mr Miller said. “[Students] might see teachers as more human.”