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Masks Can’t Hide Talbot Staff’s Smiles

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Masks Can’t Hide Talbot Staff’s Smiles
Posted on 09/16/2020
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Masks on the faces of teachers at Talbot Community School don’t prevent their students from seeing their smiles. That’s because Talbot teachers and other staff started school this week wearing large, laminated photos of their smiling faces on lanyards around their necks or pinned to their shirts. Students can see how happy everyone at school is to see them again – even if they can’t see the expressions on their faces.

Masks are mandatory for Portland Public Schools staff and students as one of the health and safety measures required for Maine schools to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic. Assistant Principal Kerri LeSieur got the idea for creating photos of the smiles behind the masks of school staff after seeing a national news story.

“They showed a story about nurses that work in the children's hospital and how the kids never see the smiling faces of the nurses, so they made photo buttons to help the children connect with their nurses and see who is taking care of them,” LeSieur said. “I thought that this would be exactly the thing that our school needs as we return all wearing face masks.”

She said she had 4x4 photos printed for all staff members. “They all shared a photo with me that included a nice big smile,” LeSieur said. “Once I got the photos, I laminated them and put a pin on them so staff could attach them to a lanyard or their shirt.”

She said teachers report they’re very happy to have the smiling photos to wear each day. “It was really an easy project with a big impact,” LeSieur said.

Photo: Talbot Community School Principal Ann Hanna (left) and Assistant Principal Kerri LeSieur wear photos showing the big smiles behind their masks.