GALENA PARK, Texas – The emotional strain from the coronavirus pandemic on educators has been overwhelming. Instead of telling the faculty and staff in Galena Park Independent School District what a great job they’ve done, the school board of trustees and superintendent decided to show them.
As a token of their appreciation for their dedication and commitment during the pandemic, trustees approved the administration’s recommendation at Monday’s board meeting.
“There was just applause and joy and laughter. It was astonishing. We were so surprised and grateful. This will go a significant way into paying for student loans for our family and making sure my husband and I will be able to start a family soon,” said Cynthia Tenaglio, a chemistry teacher at Galena Park High School.
The surprise was announced through email, text and a video released by the district. The details were also laid out in stipend letters that were handed out to faculty and staff in the district Thursday afternoon.
“It’s a great way to show folks that you love how much you care,” said Dr. John Moore, Galena Park ISD superintendent.
Moore said he recognizes this comes at a critical time for so many district employees.
“We’ve had people say they are going to be able to pay rent. We’ve had people say they are going to be able to have a great Valentine’s weekend. we’ve had people say they are going to make their electric bill,” Dr. Moore said.
The direct deposit of $1,000, after taxes, will hit their bank accounts by Saturday. Additionally, all teacher substitutes will receive a $20 per day pay increase and all auxiliary substitutes will receive a $2 per hour increase from Feb. 21 through June 30.