Without fail, the Palm Beach County School Board’s monthly evening meetings are loaded with presentations, awards and recognitions – but almost always ones dispensed by the school board or district administrators to students, educators or community members.
This Wednesday’s meeting was different. Veteran middle school teacher Betty Wells thought it was time for board members and Superintendent Robert Avossa to receive some recognition.
So the Bear Lakes Middle teacher reserved herself a spot on the board’s meeting agenda to formally thank Avossa and board members for their efforts to improve the county’s schools.
“Today is your day,” she said. “It is my goal to see that you are treated with dignity,” she added.
Speaking in front of board members and the audience, Wells reflected on her more than four decades as a teacher, saying that she chose her profession “to make a difference in the life of children.” She said she wanted to thank Avossa and the board for helping her and other teachers to do their job.
“I value you and I respect you,” she said.
Wells said she was reluctant to give them a gifts of monetary value, wary of state and district rules surrounding gifts for elected officials.
But she still put her money where her mouth is, producing a stack of printed yellow certificates and handing one to each of them.
“I’ll just give you all a certificate,” she said, to applause.