LHS Faculty & Staff Earn A+ on Thanksgiving Meal Project


Caitlin Mark, Reporter

With Thanksgiving break approaching sooner than we know it, the Lakeview faculty and staff have come together once again to give back within the Lakeview community. After the devastating and unusual years of 2020 and 2021 almost behind us, Lakeview has returned stronger and slightly back to normal. The past year has shown that in the Lakeview community we all know how to support one another. Pulling together to bring a little bit of happiness to students’ families is nothing new for the Lakeview staff.

The Thanksgiving Adopt-a-Family “has been going on for as long as we can remember” say guidance counselors Caitlin Schnurrenberger and Trista Gustas.

Each year the guidance office issues an “assignment” to teachers and staff to bring in the fixings to provide a delicious meal for several families.

Two years ago the dinner roll group I was assigned to brought in 20 dozen of those heat and serve dinner rolls. That’s a lot of partially cooked dough,” said Language Arts teacher Angela Sarko. “One year I was in the stuffing group and in another the canned yam group. We don’t specifically keep track, but amuse ourselves predicting our ingredient as the holiday season nears.”

This year a different approach was issued. Instead of each department bringing a specific food like rolls or turkey, this year each department was assigned to donated an entire meal.

If you think teachers take assigning projects seriously, they take completing projects even more seriously. The various departments took to their tasks immediately with strategies for completion. Even though they did not know their families and even though the task was not a competition in any way, department pride took over.

As the only person in the business department, I’m happy to be an unofficial member of the English department because I know we’ll put together a good meal,” said business teacher Anne Marie Alexander.

The various departments approached the task differently.

In science, everyone volunteered to bring in the different foods on the list. Even long-term substitute Chris Romano took part,” said science teacher Maureen Bucko.

In a few departments the members all chipped in funds and one of them volunteered to do the shopping.

According to main office administrative assistant Micki Semroc, the high school office employees all donated funds and administrative assistant Alana Levak shopped for the food.

In the English department, everyone donated and Media Specialist Andria Morningstar-Gray ordered through her Walmart App and picked up the food curbside.

Turkey hunting proved to be difficult this year.

When I saw turkey on the list, right away I started worrying because I hadn’t seen a turkey yet at the Giant Eagle in Hermitage where I shop,” said Sarko.

Well, hunting down a turkey has been quite the challenge!” said Morningstar-Gray. “I ordered our list at Walmart pick-up last week, and they gave me a tiny 10 lb turkey! So, when I ordered groceries for my own family for pick-up on another day I ordered a bigger turkey. Unfortunately, when the Walmart associate wheeled out my goods, there was no turkey! They ran out!  I was off to another store. Anyway, Giant Eagle for the win . . .we have a 16 lb turkey to donate from the English department!”

We’re thankful the Lakeview faculty and staff are positive role models for students and show them giving back within their community is rewarding.

While this assignment seems beyond our job description, it does fit in with our overall mission as educators,” said Bucko. “We really just want our students to experience the best life possible.”

Teachers and students are rewarded with the heartwarming feeling knowing a family or individual benefited from donations or help within the community.