High School Teacher Creates Lawn Display For Her 2020 Seniors

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Teacher Lawn Display Coronavirus
silvabom/Shutterstock

Unfortunately, the coronavirus ruined all most all the fun plans for high school and college graduates. Thankfully, plenty of teachers and family are stepping up to the plate. Like one Virginia teacher who dedicated an entire lawn display to her 2020 seniors…

More Than A Teacher, A Light

Heather Gigliotti Lawn 2020 Seniors
Heather Gigliotti/GMA

While all students hold a special place in their teacher’s hart, the 2020 seniors from McGaheysville Elementary School are particularly important to teacher Heather Gigliotti, seen above. Why? Well, the seniors at East Rockingham High School were the last kindergarten class Gigliotti taught before moving on to high school. Now, she has enjoyed teaching them twice! So, when she heard the school had canceled graduation due to coronavirus, the teacher knew she needed to do something. “This group of kids just matter. It was just an amazing group of kids and parents that always went above and beyond to take care of each other and people in our community,” she said. “This group, because it was my last kindergarten class, they have a special place in my heart.”

First, Gigliotti convinced the athletic director at East Rockingham High School to light the school football field each night for 20 minutes, as an honor for the graduates. However, after teaching for 29 years, Gigliotti knew that she needed something more than some football lights. So, she started working on a home project for her students…

Exquisite Display for 2020 Seniors

Teacher Lawn Display Coronavirus
Heather Gigliotti/GMA

Wanting to make something extra special, Gigliotti had the perfect idea for her front yard. Along with her family, the teacher labeled 210 bags, each with the name of one of her students, arranging them in a heart on her front lawn. Now, every night at 8:20pm, she lights all of the candles and watches them as they burn. The candles represent the graduates from the school, and also her two nieces and nephew. “My main goal is to make sure that they feel loved and that their parents feel loved,” Gigliotti said. “Once they have me as a teacher, they’re my kids forever.”

Believe it or not, it took Gigliotti nearly an hour to set everything up the first time. Though, as you can see in the photo above, it was well worth it! However, the teacher did it for more than great pictures. It’s to remind her students of what’s truly important: caring for one another. Gigliotti wrote to all of her students before placing the candles, with many responding and driving by. “It’s been a blessing to be able to talk to them … remember when and what I see for them in the future,” Gigliotti said. “I’ve been connected with them through their sporting events and musicals when they invite me, but it’s nice to have a one-on-one personal conversation with them.”

Gigliotti knows how hard it is to overcome this coronavirus crisis as a student. “They need to know that they’re not alone, and we’re in this together,” she commented. “I know for sure that I love them, and they have people that are going to take care of them and help them through the next phase of their life.”

Sources: GMA, MSN