May 11, 2020-- Every year several High School South English teachers-- Angela Somma and Christina Scala-- ask their students to write teacher appreciation letters to former teachers thanking them for impacting their lives. Somma and Scala deliver the letters during Teacher Appreciation Week.

Since Nurse Appreciation Week falls during the same time, the teachers made another request this year. Somma and Scala asked their freshman English classes to write letters to nurses at Community Medical Center in Toms River. They received several letters over the course of last week, and gathered them all into a binder they created (right). They then delivered the binder directly to nurses at Community Medical Center Friday evening. A sample copy of Somma and Scala's own letter is below:

Dear Heroes of Community Medical Center,

Thank you for being on the front lines and for always putting patients first. Your kindness, dedication, and compassion do not go unnoticed. Thank you for choosing to care for those infected with the virus, even though you may put yourself and loved ones at risk. You are the unsung heroes during this fight and deserve to be recognized. One of the themes that we explored in class this year was what the true definition of courage means. We discussed what it means to be a hero and made many connections between the novels we read and the courageous members of our society that embody these characteristics. Our most important job as teachers is to show them why literature matters and how it can teach them to become more empathetic, accepting and grateful for everything that they have. In celebration of Nurse Appreciation Week, several of our students wanted to write letters to let you know how much they appreciate and admire your tireless effort to battle Covid-19. There is no greater role model than one who sacrifices to put others first. Thank you for teaching our students the true definition of a hero.


Angela Somma English Teacher Toms River High School South

Christina Scala English Teacher Toms River High School South 

binder cover