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  • Writer's pictureErin Madigan White

Montclair Comes Together for Teacher Toasts!

Pictured above from left, Donna Soprano, Kristen McCann, Alison Campbell and Monique von Wiegen.

"Come Together" was the Beatles-inspired theme of Northeast Elementary School's Toast to their fifth grade teaching team! The family-hosted party was one of 28 unique events hosted between May 1 - June 23 that honored Montclair Public Schools teachers. Together, these events raised nearly $30,000 for the Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence.


The celebrations took many forms: Pool parties, piano sing-alongs, tie-dye projects in the park, trivia games, popsicles, and a whole bunch of ice cream trucks! But at the heart of every one was a shared spirit of community and purpose. 


"Teacher Toasts are an opportunity to honor our teachers and staff, gather as a community, and mark the close of another school year, while simultaneously supporting MFEE's Educational Excellence grants, as funds raised to celebrate teachers in the spring/summer go directly back to those teachers to support their innovative classroom ideas that benefit their students in the fall," said MFEE Board Member Sarah Hudson-Plush, who co-hosted a pair of Toasts for Charles H. Bullock Elementary School and Renaissance Middle School. "There is beautiful synergy to it."


MFEE Board Co-President Bridget Placek added: "Our family loves hosting toasts to our teachers! It’s become an end-of-the-year ritual for us. We appreciate the chance to honor our incredible teachers and bring our families together to see the awesome bonds our kids have made this year. Supporting innovation and equity in every one of our schools with the dollars our parties raise is delicious icing on the cake!"

Placek's son Kai, a rising 6th grader, put it this way: “Our teachers are nice to us all year, and the Toast is something nice we can do for them!” 


We can all raise a glass to that.


Check out our blog for some of the amazing experiences and tools we've been able to fund recently, supporting art, dance, music production, sports journalism, culinary education, and more. Stay tuned for information about the grant application process in the fall. 


Thank you to everyone who hosted a party, attended a Toast or made a donation! (And thanks to local businesses such as Applegate Farm and The Little Daisy Bake Shop, which donated treats to make some of these events extra special). 


Didn't get a chance to attend? You can still donate or send a tribute to a teacher.

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