Pierce City, Monett teachers receive a $1,000 stipend amid pandemic school year

Updated: May. 6, 2021 at 5:40 PM CDT
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PIERCE CITY, Mo. (KY3) - It is teacher appreciation week. And some school districts in the Ozarks are showing their appreciation by giving educators a little extra cash.

he Pierce City school board voted to give all full-time employees a $1,000 stipend. Part-time employees received $500.

“Its been a difficult year and an extraordinary year for all of our staff and I just wanted to show a little appreciation,” said Pierce City Superintendent Kelli Alumbaugh.

“It’s really nice,” said art teacher Elaine Parrigon. “It’s a huge surprise but I feel it’s very beneficial for us teachers who had to go through all the uncertainty to have this last little gift.”

“It was unexpected,” said English teacher Jana Parrigon. “We didn’t hear about it until last week and it’s really just a nice gesture.”

Employees of the school district are excited to receive the extra money.

“I’ve never seen that kind of excitement this year,” said said counselor Courtney Garner. “I’ve seen it in past years but nothing like it this year until now. We had teachers tell us what they are going to do with that money some talked about doing home improvements some talked about going on that vacation they don’t get to have others are saving it for a rainy day.”

But some have something very special in mind.

“I have wanted to add an anniversary band to my wedding ring for a while and I have stones from one of my grandmother’s rings that she gave me before she passed away and I want to put those into a band and add that to my wedding ring.” said Parrigon.

Students tell me they think their teachers are very deserving of this extra money.

“Our teachers are always there for us. Unlike other schools, they are very involved in our lives in a good way. If you have something to ask them they are there for us,” said student Leslie Jones.

“I feel like I can always go to my teachers. If I need something or I need to talk to them they are always there,” said student Emera Raksoki.

“They don’t make you feel bad for going to them with anything. It’s not only school, you can go to them if you have any issue anytime,” said student Diedre Brown.

The money came out of local funds from the state and local taxes in the form of a stipend.

“It was obviously great I can’t pay them what they are worth, so to give them a $1000 stipend unexpectedly is a nice little gift so it’s a great feeling,” said Alumbaugh.

The Monett School District also gave employees a stipend. District leaders say they are grateful to the school board for supporting educators who have gone beyond the call of duty to support the needs of students during these difficult times.

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