Students surprise Laurel teacher with birthday parade

Students surprise Laurel teacher with birthday parade
Suzanne Tucker's second-grade students surprised her Tuesday with a birthday parade in front of her Soso home. (Source: Ross Tucker)

LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - A Laurel teacher received an uplifting birthday surprise from her students Tuesday afternoon.

Suzanne Tucker is a second-grade teacher at St. John’s Day School in Laurel.

She, like teachers throughout the state, has had to resort to distance learning after schools were ordered to remain closed for the rest of the semester due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Tucker said distance learning has gone well, but she has missed seeing her students in person.

“I never thought that after spring break that would be it for the year,” Tucker said.

On her birthday, she finally got the chance to see them in person, but from a safe distance.

Tucker’s husband, Ross, arrived at their Soso home around 1 p.m. Tuesday and told her, “You need to go outside right now.”

She thought he was just telling her to go outside for some fresh air, since she’s been stuck inside since school closures.

But when she got outside, a line of cars on their quiet street gave her the surprise of her life.

Tucker recognized her assistant, then her students and their parents. They were holding birthday signs, singing “Happy Birthday,” blowing bubbles and ringing cowbells, because they know she is a huge Mississippi State fan.

“It was the most wonderful thing I’ve experienced,” Tucker said, choking up with emotion. “It was truly amazing.”

Tucker said knowing her students care that much meant the world to her.

“I love them," Tucker said. "I miss them. Distance learning is great, but it’s not the same. I miss seeing their sweet faces.”

Tucker has been teaching at St. John’s Day School for about five years and is eager to return to the classroom to the students she cares so deeply about.

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