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North Polk 'teacher parade' shows students the love during quarantine

More than 70 vehicles driven by teachers, staff, and local law enforcement made a special Sunday afternoon for families at North Polk Community School District.

ELKHART, Iowa — Students who attend North Polk Community School District--like most students at Iowa Schools--haven't seen their teachers in weeks.

That includes Cole Cannon, a five-year-old preschooler from Elkhart. He attends North Polk Central Elementary School, and he misses his teacher, Angel Lemke--known to him as "Miss Angel."

"Cole loves preschool, and he misses his teacher so much!" said Jen Cannon, Cole's mother. "She really is an Angel. We will walk past her house, and we wave to her. We'll send her pictures of our puppy, and she will send pictures of hers."

"She's nice," said Cole. Cole also explained that he loves her dog, Winston. 

It's a student-to-teacher bond that goes far beyond the classroom. 

Because of bonds like those, the school counselor at Central Elementary, Melissa Fetters, organized a "teacher parade" Sunday afternoon.

"I just wanted to do something for the whole district because we are pretty big district with lots of little towns and kids in the country," said Fetters. "So I thought it would be fun to do a little pick-me-up."

The pick-me-up took the form of 78 vehicles driven by faculty, staff, and local law enforcement, snaking through several small towns where North Polk students are from.

One was 7th grade teacher Colton Willey, who teaches social studies.

"It's just kind of a way that we can still show them that we are thinking of them," said Willey. "I'm excited to come back, whenever that time comes."

Another instructor who came to show the love was 3rd grade teacher Amanda Dougherty. She wore a fleece Minnie Mouse onesie, no less.

"I am wearing Minnie mouse pajamas, I my rot the ability to see Miss Angel driving her white Jeep named Otis, with her beloved dog, named Winston.

"Hi Miss Angel!" yelled Cole when she drove by. "Miss Angel, I love you!"

Cole's mom said the gesture meant more than anyone could know.

"I think that any teacher, after this past couple weeks of doing this...I sure hope that these teachers are appreciated a little bit more," said Cannon.

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