I caught up with Rio last week and was telling her how much her donation meant when we launched our 2nd Annual Giving Appeal earlier this year.

Our board led our Annual Giving Appeal with unprecedented support, then we went out to staff and faculty, asking if they could match the 100% participation of their board. With few exceptions, they all stepped up and donated to their school, generously and wholeheartedly, reinforcing our Culture of Philanthropy.

The first of those donations, in particular, still stands out in my mind. I checked my cubby in the staffroom upon arrival the next morning, and there was a small envelope, with cash in it…and a smiley face on the front. It brought tears to my eyes. It was from our cleaner, Rio Bailey. As I was thanking her, I asked about how she came to be at IPS and what kept her here. Here’s what she said:

“I started cleaning IPS in 2014. The one thing that has always stood out is how much I have always felt my work is appreciated. All of the staff at IPS work extremely hard, multitasking overtime and still take the time to say thanks let alone notice. A fond memory that comes to mind is Ted telling me he loves the way I polish the kitchen sink and wished no one would splash water on it. (in my mind I was thinking – Ted, it’s a sink!!!)

I started making the morning coffee one day when I saw how crazy busy everyone was at report card time and wrote the note “despierta conmigo” (Spanish: “awake with me”) and everyone commented that it made them feel happy and Adrian called me “the coffee fairy”.  Sold!

I believe the students that attend IPS really do learn integrity wisdom and courage and I am grateful to be part of the team. You are all fantastic!”

Rio Bailey

NB: Rio continues to leave us regular notes on the coffee maker which we’ll share with you from time to time.