Garfield teacher recognized as Sioux Falls’ first ‘McTeacher of the Month’


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – “I’m loving it” is the iconic tagline for McDonald’s. It’s also the response you’d get if you asked local Teacher Susan Thies how she feels about her job. Well, McDonald’s Hart2Hart foundation noticed her passion and recently rewarded her for all of her hard work.

Despite the pandemic causing problems for teachers across KELOLAND, Garfield Elementary Teacher Susan Thies isn’t letting it take down her upbeat attitude.

“It’s going well: the kids have been so positive, they’re wearing masks, and we talk about making the best out of, kind of, a difficult situation,” 5th Grade Teacher Susan Thies said.

An attitude that didn’t go unrecognized by their parents. One morning, she was called to the gym to do what she thought was some publicity for the public-school system that would feature her students… but when she got there, it was all eyes on her.

“All of the sudden, I’m being awarded the ‘McTeacher of the Month’… which I had no idea what that was,” Thies said.

Thies receives her award.

The award is given out once a month to a teacher who is nominated by an anonymous parent. Thies is the first teacher in Sioux Falls to receive this award from McDonald’s Hart2Hart Inc, franchise.

“I’m still in shock,” Theis said.

“We value the hard work, dedication that they put into our children and the young minds within our community,” General Manager of Hart1Hart Inc’s 57th & Louise Store Aimee Helmers said.

She was given $100 in cash to spend on her classroom.

The first Sioux Falls McTeacher of the Month

“I’m a book lover, so I know it’ll go toward books – especially graphic novels for my students, and I also get free coffee for an entire year which is like, ‘I can do that!'” Thies said.

“We really want to be on the forefront of leadership and that means supporting the leaders here in Sioux Falls,” Helmers said.

Thies says, while these perks are nice, what really fills her cup are the kind words written to her by one thankful parent.

Photo Courtesy: Sioux Falls School District

“Yes, it’s nice to get an award and get recognized… but when a parent notices and says, ‘It’s because of you… my child wants to come to school,’… that gives you life,” Thies said.

If you would like to know more about Hart2Hart or nominate a teacher, you can visit Hart2Hart Inc.’s website.

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