Advertiser Content

This Year, Microsoft Store Is Honoring Exemplary Teachers With A Unique Digital Tribute. Take A Peek Inside.

The Legacy Museum is open for viewing.

by Leo Maymind

In 2021, Microsoft Store set out to answer a uniquely topical question: if we can’t all be together in one physical space, what is the best way to commemorate and honor those who have gone beyond the call of duty this past year? Relying on their technical expertise, their next question became, what if we created a virtual space to serve just this purpose?

And thus, Microsoft Store’s The Legacy Museum project was born—a virtual, immersive museum launched as a way to “celebrate people making history today and inspiring future generations.” In the past few months, Microsoft Store has spotlighted changemakers in honor of Black History Month and Women’s History Month.

Yesterday, on May 3, Microsoft Store unveiled a special new wing of their Legacy Museum, and this time, it’s to spotlight teachers who have made a significant impact on the lives of their students. Given that Teacher Appreciation Week is May 3-7, the timing couldn’t be more appropriate. Students from across the country were given the chance to nominate teachers as well as other leaders in their community to be given extra recognition. Reflecting the vastness of character found in education, there was an incredible range of nominations.

Those chosen, like Shawn Adler, an English and Psychology teacher from Cliffside Park, New Jersey, have gone the extra mile and then some for their students during this trying year.

Through teaching his students how to turn the anger and grief they were feeling into something constructive, a book written by the class was born. That book, called The Class of Covid-19, went on to have such success that it even provided one of Adler’s students a full college scholarship based on its sales. The experience of channeling their trauma into a book and having a teacher who displayed care was invaluable to Adler’s students. “The start of the year began with remote learning, but what made my school year different wasn’t being behind a screen,” one of his students said. “What made it different was the empathy that came through it.”

Meanwhile, the pandemic posed even greater challenges for those already going through difficult times. St Gerard Campus, in St. Augustine, Florida, is an accredited high school for young women who are either pregnant or have just given birth and are trying to complete their high school education. Brittany Glisson, a Health, Childcare, and Physical Education teacher at St. Gerard, has been recognized as a tremendous source of support and a true mentor for her students. Not only has Glisson driven students to doctors’ appointments and visited them in the hospital, she has also taken on the role of babysitter in times of need.

Angela Heath, an English teacher from Peach County High School in Fort Valley, Georgia, had to endure her own personal challenge while still inspiring both her students and the peers around her. Heath, who was nominated by her supervisor Carmen Horton, was fighting cancer during the 2020-2021 school year, but it didn’t stop her from coming up with creative ways to teach both her remote and in-person students with the help of interactive technology.

Horton praised Heath for her steadfastness despite her battle. “Mrs. Heath is a teacher who had every reason to disengage due to her health and the challenges of the pandemic, but instead she used it as an opportunity to demonstrate resilience and growth.”

And it's not just teachers that are seeing special recognition in Microsoft Store’s new museum wing. Randy Turney, the principal of Carnegie Middle School in Carnegie, Oklahoma, has been nominated for his determination to make sure his students have been fed. Many of his students rely on school meals, and Turney saw to it that these meals be continued during remote learning, even working in the kitchen himself on occasion.

Turney is now also the school district liaison in charge of supporting vaccinations for all school employees. His nominator said it best: “Mr. Turney is always looking to make someone else’s load just a little lighter and to leave the world behind him just a little brighter.”

Launching in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, the new wing of Microsoft Store’s Legacy Museum honors these teachers and many others. Experience The Legacy Museum for yourself today.