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HAINES CITY – Planning is underway for the annual Haines City High School Faculty and Staff “Lamazing” Kickoff Breakfast for the new school year.

The entire staff and faculty — approximately 200 individuals — will be greeted Aug. 17 by bright and cheery decorations and a delicious breakfast.

Of course, given the unique moment we live in, the hospitality committee just isn’t sure how it will be accomplished yet.

“Our plans include working with our teachers' work schedules, whether they’ve chosen on-site or the distance learning option,” said Becky Rhodes, HCHS teacher and hospitality committee member. “And it must all be done following state and district safety mandates.”

Historically the event is served buffet style but, because of health restrictions, it no longer will be able to be done that way, Rhodes said.

“We are trying to think outside-of-the-box and be creative on new ways to serve and still be safe,” she said.

Other members of the committee include Connie Hoffman, Hayley Riviere, Charlotte Aldridge and Igdelia Rivera.

Rhodes said that most likely the diners will be served individually wrapped breakfast sandwiches or another type of single-serve breakfast food.

For the first time, the committee is asking for donations to help fund the breakfast because, last year, they were not able to fundraise like normal.

“We are asking local businesses and residents to donate any amount possible,” she said. “And, we are sensitive to the impact that the virus has had on everyone financially.”

This year’s theme is “Lamazing” (so named for llama and amazing together) and refers to their professionalism at the end of the past school year, during which the pandemic struck and distance learning became the new normal.

“Our faculty and staff did an amazing job transitioning quickly and effectively from the traditional classroom setting to the unchartered waters of distance learning,” Rhodes said. “With final state and district reopening decisions yet to be determined, our faculty and staff continue to maintain their energy and enthusiasm for the reopening of school — whatever that will be.

“For that, we consider them lamazing and it is a very cute theme, too.”

The breakfast is just one teacher initiative offered throughout the year. For example, last year, professional hand massages for the faculty were given during teacher appreciation week.

Donations can be made by check or in cash at the school office. If using a check, please write “faculty incentive” in the subject line. For more information, call 863-421-3281.