This article was submitted by Leah Gomberg and Barbara Cokorinos.
Teachers and staff were treated to a sweet treat on Friday at Columbia High School. Each teacher, administrator and staff person (security, cafeteria, maintenance, etc) was the recipient of a box of homemade cookies. Trays of cookies were given to the Maplewood police and the staff at the Board of Education building as well in appreciation for their efforts on behalf of CHS students.
Organized by Leah Gomberg and Barbara Cokorinos — who started the tradition when their children were at Clinton School, then continued it at South Orange Middle School — and with the support of the CHS HSA, volunteers baked and packaged cookies. More than 75 cookie contributors/bakers and an amazing team of 16 helpers packaged over 300 individual boxes of cookies (including gluten-free and nut-free). Over 250 dozen cookies ranging from chocolate chip to lemon bars to chocolate rugelach filled the air with delicious aromas.
(Check the photo gallery for a peek at the cookie giveaway; click on any photo to begin).
It was heartwarming to see the looks of amazement and appreciation from the teachers, administrators and staff. A few had tears in their eyes when they were given their gift. Veteran teachers commented that in their 30 years at CHS they could not ever remember a school-wide initiative to thank and recognize them in this way. They were all so grateful.
The HSA/Midnight Madness committee donated extra Cougar travel mugs that were given to each person along with their cookie box.
Leah and Barbara want to thank each and every volunteer who contributed – what seemed like a monumental undertaking was made easy by the generosity of the CHS families. They also thank Principal Elizabeth Aaron for her enthusiasm and strong support of this project. They are looking forward to continuing the tradition next year.