Yesterday, schools across America set aside a special day to recognize the contribution of our nations’ teachers: National Teacher Day.

In many places, like my daughter’s school, the celebration and appreciation extends to fill an entire week.

For good reason — teachers play a vital role in shaping our children, academically and personally. Their impact on the lives of children is immeasurable.

Teachers are leaders who make a difference, every day.

I spent a couple of hours at my daughter’s school on National Teacher Day.

Here’s what I saw:

The school’s principal, preparing lunch for his staff of 25 teachers and aides.

The art room, arranged for a bountiful buffet: salad bar, chicken marsala, desserts.

Our principal arranged for parents to provide drinks and dessert.He personally recruited volunteers to cover teachers’ lunch duty, ensuring that teachers could have a break. He rearranged the school schedule to provide even more time off for teachers.

He is preparing lunch, every day, for this team of educators.

I told him I thought his efforts were amazing. His reply: my teachers are amazing. I have the best, most dedicated teachers and they’re not doing it for the money.

This principal understands the importance of valuing his employees. He respects their individual contributions and he is willing to work hard to make sure their efforts are recognized and applauded.

The most remarkable part to me is the way he does it all surreptitiously, behind the scenes, so that on this day, throughout this week, and all year long — it is the teachers who really shine.

This was originally posted at Mountain State University LeaderTalk and is re-posted with permission.