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Dassa McKinney teachers serve positivity at McDonald’s

Dassa McKinney Elementary School teacher Mandy Greenawalt works the fryer Wednesday, April 12, at McTeacher’s Night at McDonald's in the Clearview Circle. Submitted photo

As customers approached the McDonald’s drive-thru Wednesday, April 12, in Clearview Circle, Center Township, many were shocked at the laughter coming from inside.

“A couple people asked if we were having a party, we were so loud,” said Jen Beachem, a teacher who was running the ice cream machine.

The party was actually McTeacher’s Night for Dassa McKinney Elementary School students, who got to watch their teachers run a store instead of a classroom Wednesday evening.

The night included 30 teachers, paraprofessionals and the principals working together to raise funds for a positive behavior reinforcement initiative.

Beachem, who provides learning support for kindergarten through third grade in the Moniteau School District, said McTeacher’s Night has been beloved since 2008. She’s participated for 10 years.

“We look forward to it for a couple months actually, all the teachers wear shirts to advertise it the day of, we send kids home with stickers and flyers,” she said. “The kids just love seeing us in a different role, not just at the school.”

The teachers arrived at McDonald’s Wednesday to receive training in the various roles at the restaurant. Beachem said employees are there to help, but most teachers have experience from previous McTeacher’s Nights.

“We had people in the dining room cleaning, people running drive through, the fryers, making ice cream,” she said. “The ice cream machine is my favorite, so I take that over.”

Nicole Fox, assistant principal at Dassa McKinney, said she enjoyed her role keeping the space clean and efficient.

“I had a good time interacting with people. I’m just here to have fun,” she said. “It’s a really nice night for school employees, and it’s a really big deal. Everybody wants to see their teachers working.”

At one point, a line was forming out the door of the restaurant with students and parents, according to Beachem. More than 200 students showed up in support of the event.

The night was a success on all accounts, as Beachem said the teachers helped set a record for most food sold in an hour at the Center Township location.

“The manager said they haven’t had that much in a long time,” Beachem said.

As part of the event, McDonald’s contributes 15% of food sale totals to the schoolwide positive behavior program at Dassa McKinney. The positive reinforcement initiative is recognized statewide, and students are rewarded for exhibiting positive traits in the school.

“It’s a collection of faculty and staff who are committed to making (the school) a safe and positive place to be. Students learn the expectations for each area of school and all work together to make sure these expectations are being followed daily, the 4 B’s — Be Respectful, Be Productive, Be Safe, and Be Responsible,” she said. “The team works to fundraise to provide rewards for our students and staff and to recognize their hard work and dedication.”

The teachers made over $1,000 with McDonald’s contribution, chocolate chip cookie sales and tips.

Beachem said the experience was one to remember, and was especially fun for the students.

“McDonald’s is great,” she said. “Seeing the students’ faces light up and recognize us in a different environment is fun.”

From left, Amy Spiegel, Christine Fleeger, Jessie Hoover, Laura Campbell and Jen Beachem participate Wednesday, April 12, at McTeacher’s Night at McDonald’s in Center Township. Submitted photo

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