‘We’ve never been so compassionately connected’
Educators have always worked to inspire others and sometimes, if they’re part of a dedicated team and community network, they get inspired themselves.
“I have observed people who are in their own ways dealing with what has changed for them personally, and I’ve seen them be the hands and feet of Jesus for someone else, to a point where I’m absolutely inspired,” said Heidi Malone, who serves as principal at Royal Redeemer Lutheran School. “I think God’s hand is in all of this. To see an extension of God’s love through his people is awesome. We’ve never been so compassionately connected.”
Like educators around the globe, the staff at Royal Redeemer Lutheran School is committed to providing distance learning and engaging virtual opportunities for their students. Families reported to the Royalton Road school in March to gather their child’s belongings and classroom materials in preparation for the switch to virtual learning following Gov. DeWine’s announcement calling for the closure of Ohio schools. Their academic year will conclude May 22 and teachers are working on plans for next school year no matter the outcome.
Students have been using video conferencing tools to complete lessons and learn virtually. Students haven’t simply been given busywork but have learned new concepts thanks to live recorded instruction. School leaders have embraced their new day-to-day duties. Malone holds a weekly virtual all-staff meeting to “check-in emotionally” with her coworkers and “just keep things moving” for the school community. The school holds virtual chapel worship sessions, book readings, games, activities and community-builders like Spirit Week, Teacher Appreciation Week and Pet Shows, and has plans for virtual graduation ceremonies, class trips, end-of-the-year picnics and class parties, along with ideas to keep their charitable collection drives and mission projects in place and in a safe way.
“I can’t convey enough my strong appreciation for our teachers, who are accessible almost 24/7, have given out their phone numbers, have been on-call, and keep going above and beyond,” Malone said.
She reflects daily on the importance of keeping a sense of calm and normalcy as much as possible as she learned in school safety training.
“Establishing routines helps our community to have security and helps them to know we will continue. School is not over. We just do things differently now and through all of this we really haven’t missed a beat,” she said.

Contributing Writer