Mrs. Weiss Gets Birthday Wishes


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It’s not every day that you get a parade for your birthday. But Joan Weiss did on Tuesday.

Weiss has been a teacher at Forest Avenue School since 2004 and a first-grade teacher there for much of that time. She loves being in her classroom, surrounded by her students. But since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, she, like every other teacher in Verona, has been seeing her students only through a computer screen.

So when class parents found out that Weiss’ birthday was coming up, they enlisted her family to help launch a birthday surprise. On Tuesday, her students got into their parents’ cars and their convoy headed for the Laning side of town where Weiss lives. When they got there, they honked horns, waved signs and yelled “Happy Birthday” at their teacher. “We didn’t have to travel far,” says Christy DiBartolo, a class parent. “It was nice for the kids to see her, and for her to see them. The kids were all smiles and it brought me to tears.”

Weiss later thanked her well-wishers with a note:

“Often people would ask, ‘What is it like teaching in the town that you live in?’ My response has always been ‘It is great. I get to see my students in other aspects of their lives. I get to watch them grow up.’

Today proved how wonderful it is to live and teach in Verona! I loved seeing the children and their smiling faces in the cars and all the wonderful banners!

So now I will not say this was my ‘quarantine’ birthday, but rather the birthday of the caravan of cars with my students and parents honking their horns.

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