VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.— One of the highlights of R.V. Yoshida’s year is breaking out the grill to feed the friends who feel a lot like family.
Chef Boy R.V., also known as Principal R.V. Yoshida, is reclaiming his spot as grill master to keep the annual burger bash going from home instead of school.
“This is my fourth year as a principal at Birdneck Elementary School. I’ve done this every year as a principal,” says Yoshida.
The Philadelphia Eagles fan is also a big fan of his Birdneck Eagles. When the coronavirus threatened to cancel his annual celebration for Teacher Appreciation Week, he got creative to keep the tradition going.
“Teachers are working so hard. They’re doing amazing things, and I know the kids are, too. They need appreciation more now than ever,” says Yoshida.
He invited the Birdneck Elementary School teachers to grab a burger while he grilled out at home. His own cul-de-sac may not be the ideal place to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, but the curbside service is key to keeping safe.
Mentor, inspire, educate, coach, share, influence, encourage— teachers do so much, and this is just one thing Yoshida wanted to do for them.
“It’s so hard. It is so hard to not be with my kids and be in the classroom, and this is just a little bit of kind of normalcy that makes it good,” said first grade teacher Bonnie Hartman while waiting for her veggie burger.
The curbside burgers hit the spot and the heart Wednesday afternoon.
“I had one teacher come by earlier today and she said, ‘I actually came to Birdneck because I saw and heard that you did burgers for the teachers,’" explained Yoshida. “I don’t know if that’s true, but thank you to the teacher for saying that. That made me feel awesome and made me feel that the appreciation for me is excepted and loved.”
With help from wife Nicole and daughter Paris, the Yoshidas show how small acts of kindness can help a community soar through the difficult times.
The Virginia Beach principal hopes the students will do their work at home so they don’t fall behind next year.
Yoshida added that he credits his former Virginia Beach teachers for inspiring him to become an educator long before he knew he would become one. He says Ms. Jane Webster, his high school English teacher, always believed in him and that his P.E. teacher, Mr. Mike Spanitz, “was one of the most motivating, inspiring people.”