The energy was as palpable as the incoming rain clouds in the South Hardin High School Parking lot Wednesday afternoon.
At least 50 Eldora-New Providence Elementary School teachers, staff, administrators, family and friends were finally getting a chance to see each other face-to-face as they gathered in preparation for the Parade of Staff.
Principal Kyle Henrichs credited his Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) staff - a group of teachers, staff and administrators that focuses on conditions to support learning by providing positive, predictable and safe environments - with coming up with the idea and organizing the event.
"I think they saw other schools doing it and they wanted to do something to just say, 'Hey, kids I miss you,'" Henrichs said. "We're already making the weekly contact with them, some teachers almost daily. But it's just another way to ease the whole big change we have going on here."
The idea was for students who live along the parade route to come outside and wave to their teachers, or come say hi from the safety of a vehicle if they don't live along the route. The parade covered a large portion of Eldora and then moved on to cover most streets in New Providence.
The parade began at 6 p.m. By 6:01 p.m. the downpour had started, but that's the advantage of a parade of cars, trucks and SUVs, you can still continue without having to get soaked. Judging by the smiles on everyone's faces the rain couldn't drown out the happiness of the occasion.
For some young spectators, the idea of getting a chance to see everyone was worth getting a little wet.
"I'm just here to see my teachers. I'm in Ms. Nilles' class," said 9-year-old fourth-grader Avery Leptien.
Leptien said the cancellation of school has been tough be she loves everything about school. Her friend, 10-year-old third-grader Cailey Davis said she doesn't miss going to school at all.
"The only thing I like about school is math," she said. "Plus, I already saw my teacher face-to-face today."
The rain eventually subsided and the Parade of Staff succeeded in providing a much needed change of pace for all involved.