McVey parents celebrate teachers and staff


During the school year, children spend a tremendous amount of time with their teachers. Besides family, teachers arguably are the ones who know children the best. That’s why each year parents at McVey Elementary School get together to create a special luncheon for the teachers to show their appreciation.

This year on April 25, teachers from all grades at McVey enjoyed food donated from Margarita’s Cafe, Amia’s Delicatessen, Colony Diner, Nina’s Deli and Catering, Frantoni’s Pizzeria — all of East Meadow — Savory Drops in Mineola, Bakers of All Nations in Mineola, Fat Boy Burrito in Bellmore, and items from Stop and Shop, Walgreens, Stew Leonard’s, and Uncle Giuseppe’s.

“So many businesses donated which is so nice to see,” Susete Reyes, the co-chair of the event, said. “All the kindness in East Meadow and even outside — everyone was so generous.”

The luncheon had an ‘80s theme with all decorations done by Sweet Jules Treats and Decor in Roslyn Heights. Teachers and staff came in during their lunch periods to enjoy some tasty treats.

“It’s just a little thing we do to show how much we appreciate everything the teachers do for our kids,” Allison Vardakis, the first vice president of the McVey PTA said. “(Teachers) deserve the world. They touch a little bit of our children’s soul, help them grow and learn.”

The event is chaired by East Meadow parents Reyes and Jennifer Tejada-Dhawan. They collected donations from businesses and parents. They also have a budget from the PTA to make the lunch even more personal.

“(Reyes and Tejada-Dhawan) work super hard to make sure the teachers and staff have an amazing time,” Vardakis said. “They take care of the favors and raffle and decor as well.”

There are volunteers that come in to help set up, clean up and refill food trays, but everything else is done by Reyes and Tejada-Dhawan.

“The teachers appreciate it so much,” Reyes said. “It’s just a way for us to show how much we appreciate all of them because they do so much for our children. It’s the least we could do to make them feel special.”

Vardakis said that this event is special because of how much of impact the elementary teachers have on young kids.

“We are forever grateful for every teacher at the school,” Vardakis said. “We are all a big family and the staff is amazing — everyone from the principals, to the teachers, to the secretaries, specials teachers, the aids, the security guards and the janitors.”

Reyes said they start planning the event two months in advance and visit different businesses to see who will donate. Teachers entered raffles to win gift cards.

“We know they would do anything for our children and this is a little way the parents, PTA — with the guidance of Susete and Jen as chair people — give back,” Vardakis said. “We’d give them the world if we could. Precious cargo walks those halls.”