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Meijer Surprises Unsung Heroes at Lorain, Ohio School

With classes well underway at school districts across the country, teachers and staff are working hard to navigate in-person classes while keeping students safe. We wanted to recognize the extra effort schools are making by thanking a few “unsung heroes” in Northeast Ohio.

Our Lorain, Ohio store team worked with Larkmoor Elementary School Principal Chantelle Lewis to identify three “heroes” who went above and beyond to help Lorain City Schools from the earliest days of the pandemic. Chantelle surprised second-grade teacher Rona Lauricia and building cleaners Deena Lindo and Kay Chaffin with the recognition during a recent outdoor school-wide assembly in front of teachers, support staff and roughly 420 students.

Cassandra Robinson, Lorain Meijer Store Director, presented each hero with a $500 gift card, a certificate honoring them as an “Unsung Hero,” and a basket of their favorite treats. But our team knew every staff member at the school deserved recognition. In addition to giving each staff member a $25 Meijer gift card, we also wanted to make their school days a little easier by equipping the staff breakroom with new Keurig coffee makers and supplies.

“We realize this past year has been difficult for everyone and we want them to know we appreciate everything they’re doing for our children. We’re also grateful for all the community support of the Meijer Lorain store since we opened our doors in 2020,” Cassandra said.

Deena has been with the school 14 years and Kay is in her sixth year.

“When you think about it, our cleaners never get recognized. We often forget about the people who are intricate parts of the staff,” Chantelle said. “During this season of COVID, our cleaners are our essential workers in every sense of the word. They make it possible for us to be in this building with our students every day.”

Rona has taught in Lorain City Schools since 1995 and is a 26-year second grade teacher.

“She cares about this community. She cares about the students. She is someone who should be called a hero because sometimes it is your silent people who go unrecognized,” Chantelle said. “[She] has been invaluable during COVID, even going as far as to personally visit students’ homes to drop off supplies when they are out because of illness.”

Students clapped for the honorees and held up handmade thank you signs while cheering “thank you” as a token of gratitude for all teachers and support staff. We’re pleased to be able to support some of our community’s unsung heroes.

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