“We are always here for you.”

“Together we will get through this.”

“We miss you.”

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the 88-member elementary staff at Corpus Christi’s School of Science and Technology worked together to spread positivity to their students in a 10-minute video published on Friday.

The faculty and staff members each wrote a positive message on a heart-shaped piece of paper and recorded themselves with the messages on video. With some editing, each employee appears to pass along their message to the next.

Elementary Principal Annabelle Mendiola saw other schools making similar videos and pitched the idea during a staff Zoom meeting last Monday. The heart-shaped messages were a symbol of “how much we love our SST families,” Mendiola said.

“We are not only concerned with (students’) academics but also their social/emotional well-being during this difficult time,” she said in an email. “We wanted to express how much they are missed and that we are thinking of them always.”

The staff immediately looked to special education teacher Sydney Taylor to take the lead on the video. Taylor has a graphic design background and is frequently the “go-to” person for the school’s creative projects, she said.

She created a Google Form for the staff to submit their videos; some employees texted and emailed their videos to her. She made a list of the staff and reviewed it constantly to make sure no one was left out.

Her days have been dedicated to teaching — video conferencing, recording herself reading books aloud, fielding questions from students who need help — and she spent late nights producing the video. Taylor estimated it took 40 hours to bring the video together. 

“We want to go above and beyond for our students,” she said. “They get to see all of their teachers in one place as a united front. We’re trying not only to teach distance learning but to love them from a distance, too.

“We are there for them no matter what, and we can’t wait to all be back together again.”

Vicky Camarillo covers education, immigration and other issues in South Texas and the rest of the Lone Star State. See our subscription options and special offers at Caller.com/subscribe.

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