Merrimack Valley Life

Silver Hill reverse parade


Andrew Gray and the rest of the Silver Hill staff line the parade route.

Andrew Gray and the rest of the Silver Hill staff line the parade route.

The Silver Hill School “family” wanted to have a face-to-face group meetup, and what better way to do that than to have a parade. But it was not your regular-for­mat social-distancing parade, where teachers drive through neighborhoods. The teachers changed it up and had their students come to them.

For 90 minutes, parents and grand­parents with children in tow paraded their cars through the school’s parking lot, past colorful signs and enthusiastic faculty members who lined the route. It was not difficult to see the many smiles behind the facemasks—or on them; prin­cipal Mary Ellen Lucas and others pasted smiles on their masks.

Youngsters popped out of car sun­roofs, holding handmade signs reflecting their love for their teachers. Many cars drove through the parade more than once, so each child could have a bird’s- eye view of their teacher. No personal contact was allowed, but that didn’t stop assistant principal Brendon Parker from spontaneously giving a big bearhug to a car or two as the students rode by, to the delight of everyone.

First-year academic support teacher Samantha Hackett acknowledges students. Haverhill Life photos by Marilyn Caradonna

First-year academic support teacher Samantha Hackett acknowledges students. Haverhill Life photos by Marilyn Caradonna

The party atmosphere was everywhere. Andrew Gray, a Merrimack Fellow, dawned his colorful flamingo suit; auto­mobiles were decorated with handmade signs; and many, many horns blared. The brief time together brought smiles to ev­eryone. As they rode by their children’s teachers, some parents jokingly asked, “Do you want them back?”

Family support is everything in this time of crisis, and the Silver Hill commu­nity is family.

A student gives a nod to Teacher Appreciation Week.

A student gives a nod to Teacher Appreciation Week.

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