New Hampton Catholic school teachers hold parade to connect with students during shutdown

By Dan Russo

Witness Editor

NEW HAMPTON – Teachers and other staff at a Catholic school in New Hampton found a creative way to connect with their students in light of the closure of educational facilities across Iowa due to the coronavirus.

On March 23, St. Joseph Community School, located on North Broadway, organized a “teachers’ parade” through the small town so that their students in kindergarten through eighth grade could see them, while everyone practiced a safe “social distance” to prevent spread of the disease.

A car containing the principal of St. Joseph’s Community School in New Hampton drives down a street during the teacher’s parade. The cover photo shows a teacher waiving from her car during the parade. (Photos courtesy of the New Hampton Tribune)

“We had a blast driving around town today, and it really lifted my spirits after such a tough week last week!” wrote Christina Carlton, principal of St. Joseph, in an email after the event.  “I saw a post on Facebook from another school that had a teacher parade and posed it to my staff to see if it was something they would be interested in. We all miss the kids so much!  Most of the teachers wanted to participate.”

School personnel started getting the word out through Facebook, the New Hampton Tribune newspaper and the local radio station.

“We started at school and drove up and down streets all through the town,” explained Carlton. “It took about an hour to cover the houses in town. We decorated our vehicles and honked and waved.  Many students were on their lawns waiting for us!”

Students waive to teachers during the parade. (Photo courtesy of the New Hampton Tribune)