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After going viral, elementary teacher's custom handshakes are here to stay

Local 5 introduced you to Mary Schulz, a third-grader teacher at Rockwell Elementary, in October 2020. Her special handshakes haven't gone anywhere.

ROCKWELL, Iowa — Local 5 brought you a story in October 2020 of a teacher that greets her students with individualized, contactless handshakes each morning.

Mary Schulz is a third-grade teacher at Rockwell Elementary in the West Fork Community School District.

The original video of Schulz and her 20 students went viral with over 4.5 million views on Local 5's YouTube page.

And with the end of the school year coming up, it was time to ask the question: Are you still doing the handshakes?

"We do it every day," Schulz said Tuesday.

Since the original story, over one million Iowans have been vaccinated. Schulz is one of them.

"I did happen to just get my first shot on Saturday."

Some of her students had to quarantine because they were exposed to the virus. But when they got back to the classroom, the handshakes continued.

October 8, 2020: Iowa elementary school teacher greets students with custom handshakes 

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"When the video kind of went viral some of the kids that had real simple handshakes decided to change them a little bit so they were a little more complicated," Schulz explained.

Her video gained attention all over the world, with people commenting they watched from Ireland, Dubai and New York City.

“About a week ago, a friend of mine has a brother in Arizona and sent him a message saying, ‘Hey, we think we saw a teacher from your school that was on TV down here,'" she said.

Schulz plans to continue with the handshakes throughout the next few years.

"I think it might be one of those things that I kind of continue throughout my next few years of teaching."

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