The staff, family and mascot of Highland Oaks Elementary School running out with signs and posters. (Photo courtesy of AUSD)

Hundreds of staff celebrated at Arcadia Unified’s ‘Staff Appreciation Night’

The Arcadia Unified School District hosted its annual “Staff Appreciation Night Football Game” at Arcadia High School on Oct. 5. Educators, admin and other staff were welcome to bring their family members to the game. The event celebrated them for all their hard work and dedication to the district.

“When we first created this night a couple years ago, we were pushing to make an effort to show all of our staff they are apart of a big team,” said Dr. David Vannasdall, the Superintendent of AUSD. “There are alot of teachers that work very hard at their school site, but they don’t often get to mingle with other staff at other schools and recognize, we are all on the same team, even if we work at different schools. This is especially true since all the students end up at Arcadia High.”

At the beginning of the night, staff members and their families were given special sideline passes that allowed them to sit wherever they pleased during the game. Staff also entered in the raffle in were they could win tablets, chromebooks and gift cards. Volunteers from Arcadia High School’s Digital Communications Internship set up a photography booth and a face painting booth at the field’s entrance.

dsc 0027 Hundreds of staff celebrated at Arcadia Unifieds Staff Appreciation Night
Intern Maggie Wong facepatinging at the booth.
(Photo courtesy of AUSD)
dscn1102 Hundreds of staff celebrated at Arcadia Unifieds Staff Appreciation Night
Staff members from Holly Avenue taking a photo at the booth.
(Photo courtesy of AUSD)

Katie Siriani, an eighth grader at Foothills Middle School, attended the event with her mother, the Assistant Principal of Foothills Middle School.

“My teachers have helped me grow as a person and scholar. I think it is important for students to be appreciative of their teachers because some don’t realize how much teachers do for us. They always go above and beyond, even when it is not necessary. That just shows much they care for their students and the district,” Siriana said.

Shortly before the game started, staff members and their family organized into groups that represent which school they work at. Right after, they ran out of Arcadia High School’s black tunnel and onto the football field.

“When we get to run out and get announced, that school spirit of our staff, their kids, and their spouses is such a special connection to this event,” Dr. Vannasdall said. Mascots from various AUSD schools also were present at the game and exited the tunnel as well.

dsc 2224 Hundreds of staff celebrated at Arcadia Unifieds Staff Appreciation Night
The staff, family and mascot of Highland Oaks Elementary School running out with signs and posters.
(Photo courtesy of AUSD)

The night continued as staff members mingled, created new friendships and made memories with their family and other staff.

“I think it’s great that all the staff in Arcadia have a night where we can all come together and be apart of the AUSD family and celebrate our district. I look forward to catching up with all the friends I have made over the years in AUSD,” said Christian Siriano, Assistant Principal at Foothills Middle School.

In addition, the event was a unifying for the staff. With over 500 employees who work at various locations within AUSD, it is hard for staff to find the opportunity to engage with others who are not from their school site.

Lee Kwan, the Science and Math Enrichment teacher at Foothills Middle School, said, “This is a chance where we can see teachers from all different grade levels and different schools come together as a family. I love AUSD because we have one goal in mind: we care about our students and want them to excel and the be the best versions of themselves they can be.”

As the football game ended with Arcadia taking victory, the staff began to leave an unforgettable night organized just for them.

“This event will only get better every year,” Dr. Vannasdall said. “We are also looking for ways to take the concept and grow it to celebrate different things going around the district. It’s encouraging us and inspiring us to do more events like it.”

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