AURORA, Colo. — Shelia Phillips has been teaching in the Cherry Creek School District since 1973. During that time, she’s taught thousands of students, at all grade levels, including music and more.
“It’s the kids. That’s the dedication part,” she said.
Her five decades of service was one of the main reasons that Denver7 went to her school, Arrowhead Elementary School, for a special story.
“Attention Arrowhead Elementary School teachers…” Denver7 anchor Jason Gruenauer said over the school’s intercom, kicking off a surprise lunch for the staff.
“It was a really wonderful surprise,” second grade teacher Senika O’Connor said.
A lunch of sandwiches and cookies was donated by Safeway as part of the inaugural ‘Denver7 Gives Thanks’ series— all about saying thank you during the holiday season to hard-working groups of people who have a major impact on our community.
“(Thank yous) are something that you just keep forever in your heart. I love that,” Phillips said, adding that after 50 years, a word of thanks never gets old.
“There are many sleepless nights. There are many tears that I cry over these children that I come to love and worry about. And when somebody acknowledges the hard work that I do, it just it means so much,” O’Connor added.
More Denver7 GivesDPS schools collecting clothing, gift cards for migrant students, their families Broomfield preschool library restored thanks to donations from Denver7 viewers Denver7 viewers help Boulder musician after truck he was living in was stolen Food Bank of the Rockies brings mobile pantries to CO communities in need
As part of the recognition and thank you to the staff, Denver7 opened up a Denver7 Gives Fund to raise money for teachers. All money raised will be earmarked specifically for educator initiative grants— funds given to teachers to purchase items for their classroom.
“It allows you to acquire things that maybe you wouldn't do on your own,” Phillips said. She has received multiple of these grants.
“Anything that is available to us is so impactful. And our kids love the things that we buy for them,” O’Connor added.
Denver7 features the stories of people who need help and now you can help them with a cash donation through Denver7 Gives. One hundred percent of contributions to the fund will be used to help people in our local community.
To donate to this campaign or choose another to support, use the secure form below.
Want more stories of hope and ways to help in your inbox? Sign up to get the weekly Denver7 Gives Email Newsletter 💌