Hometown Hero connects students, teachers during remote learning

Hometown Heroes

After a month of the students learning from home, Dorothy began coordinating "Drive By Hi's"

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Dr. Dorothy Reppy is the Assistant Principal at Austintown Intermediate School, which consists of students in grades 3 through 5.

Like most schools, Austintown Intermediate School started remote learning on March 13 until the end of the school year.

After a month of the students learning from home, Dorothy began coordinating “Drive By Hi’s.”

“We didn’t really get a chance to talk to our students a lot, so we wanted a way to reach out to them to let them know that we love them, we care about them and we’re there for them,” Dorothy said.

If a teacher wanted to see their students, they’d email Dorothy and she’d call all the parents in that class and map out a route.

She’d lead the teachers around the area so they could see their students from a distance — an experience enjoyed by all.

“It was a blast. Our entire staff had such a good time doing it. We really, like I said, wanted to reach out to the students, and they enjoyed it. We enjoyed it, parents enjoyed it, but it was really a good way to check in with them,” said Dorothy.

Dorothy says they were able to visit six to seven hundred houses, and the surprise visits were a little bit of a shock for some students.

“We would get that look like, ‘Oh my gosh, my teacher knows where I live,’ but all of it was positive. Sometimes we were met with signs, which were super fun for us,” Dorothy said.

The “Drive By Hi’s” were not only fun but made a big impact on everyone involved.

“It was an extremely powerful experience for the teachers and I think the students,” Dorothy said.

Dorothy also says for her and the rest of the staff this experience allowed them to help their students beyond the classroom.

“Obviously, you become a teacher because you want to help students, and knowing that we could reach them on a level that is more important than just their academics is their social and emotional well-being is…you can’t really describe the feeling. You know that you’re truly making those students happier and you’re really making a difference and letting them know that they’re loved and cared for.

Dr. Dorothy Reppy is this week’s 33 WYTV Hometown Hero.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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