The Eagle Bucks program has been a staple of Columbia Middle School for years, but it got a popular new feature this year when science teacher Teresa Fehrenz started selling homemade masks.
Every teacher is supposed to have some sort of speciality reward for the program, which rewards students for showing good character, excelling in school and more.
This year, Fehrenz decided she would sew fun masks for her students since they all needed them and she noticed they would re-use the same ones very often or sometimes forget them.
The reward proved popular, with Fehrenz selling hundreds of face coverings throughout 2020.
“It started taking off like crazy,” she said.
The decision to create her own masks was a natural one for Fehrenz, who has been sewing for years.
“I love to sew. It helps me relax,” she said. “When you’re a teacher and you actually have some free time, you want to do something that relaxes you.”
Fehrenz started making masks using fabrics she bought on sale at her favorite crafts store, but she has also had students request particular patterns or even bring in their own materials for her to make custom masks.
She has created a variety of styles like animal print, volleyball, soccer, basketball, St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Blues, University of Missouri and University of Illinois.
The Columbia Parent Teacher Association, seeing the popularity of the masks, has even paid for an online store for this year so students can view and order masks that way.
“I have to give huge appreciation and thanks to our PTA,” Fehrenz said.
Each mask sells for 15 Eagle Bucks, and they have become so popular that students are buying them as gifts for their friends and family.
“It just makes me feel good,” Fehrenz said. “It’s a way for me to promote wearing a mask.”