Due West Elementary Recognizes Maureen Friese as Phenomenal Friday Teacher of the Week; Cobb Community Donates $54,000 in gifts for Due West Teachers

Maureen Friese thought her principal had called an early morning faculty meeting because the Atlanta Braves were coming to Due West Elementary School. She was excited, but that’s not why Braves foam tomahawks lined the seats in the school gym. The pom poms, tomahawks, community members and school staff were there to celebrate Friese as the school’s MVP.

Fifth graders Case and Claire selected Friese as the Phenomenal Friday Teacher of the Week.

The students presented the 36-year veteran teacher with framed letters that detailed how she impacted their lives beyond their other elementary teachers.

Claire explained how her fourth grade teacher was always there to help and answer questions. She would never leave a student behind. Instead, Friese would build them up and make sure they understood the content.

“Mrs. Friese has also taught us that when we make mistakes, move on, and that mistakes are one step closer to the correct answer,” Case’s letter read. “What she has taught me has really helped me out in fifth grade and will continue to help me through my life. I will never forget this.”

Both students referenced Friese’s positive attitude, which spreads to the students.

“She [is] the kind of teacher that never [lets] you down,” Claire wrote. “She helped me become a better person. She helped my education and view of life grow.”

After Friese was announced as the Phenomenal Friday Teacher of the Week, her positive attitude started bubbling over. From Atlanta Braves tickets, a weekend cabin rental and free lawn service to Kroger and Starbucks gift cards, Friese’s eyes widened as she learned about her $2,500 in community gifts.

Friese was grateful for all the gifts of appreciation from the community, but reading about the impact she had on her students in their own words was her grand slam moment.

“Their actions impact us as much as our actions impact them,” Friese said. “At the beginning of the year, I tell my students, ‘you grow, but so do I. If you work hard, I will work hard as well. Education is not a one-way street. It is a two-way street.’”

Friese wasn’t the only teacher recognized at the Due West Phenomenal Friday celebration. Community members and organizations donated about $54,000 in gifts for the Due West teachers. A bag with $500 in discounts and goodies waited on the chair for each teacher. Cobb County School District Recruitment Supervisor Tyler Gwynn also gave away more gifts to the teachers.

Learn about what makes the other Phenomenal Friday Teachers of the Week stand out at their schools: http://goo.gl/Eg31Wc

The gifts were part of Teacher Appreciation Week. As each teacher’s name was called to come forward for an assortment of gifts, their fellow teachers waved pom poms and cheered. The teachers left the Phenomenal Friday event with big smiles.

“Those kids are going to be successful one day, and it is going to be because of the teachers at Due West Elementary,” said Gwynn.