Administration Hosts Annual Cocoa Bar to Honor Teachers


Photo by Lear Ennis

Powerlifting coach Derrick Hennigan and history teacher Ben Young enjoy cookies and fellowship at the annual Cocoa Bar.

Annabelle Snyder, Senior Copy Editor

Hot cocoa and snacks were served to MHS faculty and staff to show their teacher appreciation on Wed., Dec. 12. The event, hosted by the Principal’s office, was held in the Teacher Dining Room and included free sweet treats for teachers, drawings for door prizes and lots of hot cocoa with toppings.

“I look forward to this event every year,” tennis coach and science co-teacher Mark Jones said. “The treats are good; the hot chocolate is the best.”

The school holds several events throughout the year to bring the staff closer together, including a Christmas luncheon, a back-to-school PTO brunch and dress-up days.

“A lot of events make us feel appreciated,” finance clerk Tracy Andrews said. “Events like staff lunches and meetings help us feel involved. It’s like a big family.”

The event was organized by the principal’s staff, especially Principal Brandi Hendrix’s secretary, Toni Luedke. The Culinary Arts classes prepared cookies and other treats for the event.  Luedke was assisted in decorating the Teacher Dining Room by members of student council. Additionally, Luedke was in charge of keeping the hot cocoa flowing with all the trimmings, such as Andes Mints, marshmallows, chocolate chips and Redi-Whip.

“It’s a tradition that we do every year for the staff,” Luedke said.

Special Education Department head Sheila Daniels said that the event “really makes [her] feel appreciated”.

“I’m having a great time,” Daniels said. “This is so nice of the principal and her staff to do.”

Additionally, events like the cocoa bar provide an opportunity for teachers to see their coworkers they may not see regularly otherwise.

“I think this is good for teachers to be able to talk to each other,” powerlifting coach Derrick Hennigan said.

Though the cocoa bar happens annually, this is Hendrix’s first year organizing it.

“Being a teacher is one of the most rewarding, but also one of the most challenging, jobs, especially at the end of a semester,” Hendrix said. “Grades are due and, they’re giving finals; they’re doing all that stuff. I think they just need a peaceful place to just realize how much we appreciate them.”