Cobb County teacher sending messages of hope to senior students

The coronavirus pandemic is testing many people’s patience but it’s also proving the power of positivity.

Take, for example, a Cobb County high school teacher who wasn’t going to let the school year end without a proper goodbye.

“I just wanted to put smiles on their faces,” a tearful Jennifer McLarty said to FOX 5’s Alex Whittler.

She wasn’t going to chalk four years up to a quick zoom call Friday.

“On Thursday we got word that Friday would be our last day for two weeks,” she explained. Then schools were closed for good.

Just weeks ago, the Walton high school math teacher was calming students nerves through online calls.

“They wanted to know what was going happen with prom, graduation, at [the] time it was like ‘guys that’s so far off, let’s not even go there right now,’” she said.

Then the governor signed an executive order for the entire state to stay at home to fight the coronavirus.

The students knew one thing: “Their senior year is over,” McLarty said.

With just a few hours to spare before the order went into place, Mrs. McLarty had one final lesson to share.

“I told me two little boys we’re going to do something fun so we just got in the car and drove off,” she said.

She spent four hours driving around east Cobb.

“Your math teacher is here, she’s writing on our driveway,’” a parent remembered her oldest son yelling Friday.

Soon student’s homes were covered in bright messages: “the U.S. Military is lucky to get you… Congrats Sydney… A in math!”

McLarty’s math class was small, just 8 students. They were all camera shy, opting out of an interview with FOX 5.

But McLarty knows her message was well received.

“One of the moms cried and the students were just like ‘Oh, Mrs. McLarty this is just so cool, thank you so much,’” McLarty said. “One parent put a very sweet post on Facebook.”

“I wanted her to be recognized for the caring teacher that she is. She’s really special,” Tami Brown said.

Her son, Davis, “enjoyed the class.”

The chalk will fade, and one day, coronavirus fears will too, but the Walton class of 2020 will forever be etched in their math teacher’s heart.

“This is definitely a senior class that will never be forgotten,” McLarty said.