GREENBRIER — Whistles, high fives, pom poms, door prizes, even the marching band played at the annual Greenbrier Chamber of Commerce Teachers Appreciation Breakfast. There was no lack of fun and special surprises for the over 400 returning teachers and the School District staff members at the tenth annual breakfast to honor returning teachers to the Greenbrier School District.

In addition to a breakfast prepared by the school staff at Greenbrier High School, there were Chamber members who displayed their wares and gave away free pens, key chains, cup holders, literature, and door prizes. Forty Chamber business members displayed their wares and gave away such door prizes as a Kindle Fire notebook, $100 cash in a gift basket, $87 cash if you guessed the correct amount in the jar, a United States flag and an Arkansas state flag that had been flown over our state capital, weather radio, jewelry, and gift certificates for such things as free food, free air-conditioning service, and free beauty products.

Not only do the teachers enjoy a delicious breakfast with scrambled eggs, sausages/bacon, gravy/biscuits, and fruit and muffins; but the camaraderie of renewing old friendships is more than half of their good time together each year. As they prepare for school that starts next Monday, one teacher said, "Here they come, ready or not!"—referring to the hundreds of students who will march into their classrooms next week. About 23 new teachers, interns, and assistants will join the staff this year in the Greenbrier District comprised of 6 separate buildings. With the addition of their new Arts Center Auditorium last year, they have now completed a new gymnasium next to the Junior High School. It has two courts, locker rooms, coaches office, and training room. It will house several sports and PE classes at the middle school and junior high levels.

Known as one of the best schools in the state of Arkansas, the Greenbrier Chamber of Commerce loves to applaud their efforts every year with this breakfast. GHS is rated the 10th most challenging high school in Arkansas by the Washington Post. This year, the Principals and school district officials surprised the teachers.

After all the visiting and hoopla in the dining hall with breakfast and then the vendors booths that were visited and door prizes awarded, Superintendent Scott Spainhour directed the teachers to depart by only one door. It led to the new Fine Arts Auditorium.

As the teachers walked up the stairs to the auditorium, the marching band played for them and the color guard waved their flags. You could see laughter and glee on everyone’s faces. Then, as they entered the new building, the Principals and School District officials were waiting for them and surprised them by blowing whistles, waving blue pompoms, and high-fiving every teacher who walked in. The enthusiasm was felt all around just like a pep rally.

Audreya Parks, new Chamber event chairperson, said, "This is my first Greenbrier teacher appreciation breakfast—truly a win-win event for teachers, staff, and all our Chamber members who had a chance to show their wares."