ANDERSON, SC (WSPA)–Employees in Anderson School District Five could soon receive $500 for getting COVID vaccinations.
Employees received the unexpected email on last Thursday, that took some by surprise.
“It was a nice surprise. None of us expected to get a bonus for getting the vaccine, but it was definitely needed. And much appreciated, “Taylor Quinn, Second Grade Teacher at Nevitt Forest Elementary School.
“What we’re doing, we’re offering…it’s really a thank you, as well as an incentive of $500 to all of our employees. Any employee that has at least one shot, one dose of the vaccine before May 24th,” said Superintendent Tom Wilson, of Anderson School District Five.
Wilson said getting the vaccination is not a mandate. Wilson said he hopes this incentive will encourage more employees to get the vaccination.
“Obviously, a lot of our employees already have both shots. Some were on the fence deciding what to do, and this was just a way to encourage people to really consider getting the vaccine,” Wilson said.
Brandon McIntosh, Assistant Principal at Nevitt Forest Elementary, got the vaccine the day he received the email.
“I immediately went and got my vaccine at that moment. I was already going back and forth with, do I want to get vaccinated. I had a lot of questions. I spoke with my family about it, kind of seeing exactly how I felt and I decided, okay this would be a great incentive to go ahead and make that final choice,” McIntosh said.
McIntosh said the incentive was just the cherry on top.
“Being that we’re coming in contact with the public each and every day, we’re working with our students, we’re working with our faculty and staff. Everyone has a diverse population that they’re working with each and every day, it’s important that we do everything we can to protect ourselves and ensure that we’re protected, as well as protecting our loved ones,” McIntosh said. “That was definitely the cherry on top to the sundae. I was like okay $500 extra why not, and I love how he always incentivizes his employees for making great choices for our community,” he said.
Some educators said with the pandemic, the extra cash is needed.
“Every little bit helps especially as a teacher and the incentive that he gave us is definitely going to help,” Quinn said. “This year especially, we spent a little bit of our own money on making sure that we have all the things that we need in our classroom, and just making sure that we’re staying safe. And just it’s been extra work this year, so it’s nice to be appreciated,” she said.
“Of course in the pandemic, a lot of our families they did take hits. Of course education is not one of the most lucrative positions that we have in America, so I feel like that was an opportunity to show our teachers that we really appreciate them,” McIntosh said.
Wilson said employees received $2,000 bonuses in the middle of the year, and $600 bonuses at the beginning of the year.
“This is different than a bonus, this is an incentive. Everybody’s not getting it unless they get the vaccine. We hope they will,” Wilson said. “It’s just a way I consider it a thank you for stepping up. As our tagline is, “Step up and Roll Up,”. Step up and roll up your sleeve, and get the vaccine and let’s reach herd immunity so we have a total safe environment,” Wilson said.
“We feel like if we can get a large number vaccinated, then the next August when we start school, it’ll be normal. It’ll be a normal school year,” Wilson added.
Superintendent Wilson said all full-time staff must show proof of at least one injection by Monday, May 24th. Wilson said the district also applied to use COVID Relief Funds to make this happen. He said if they can’t, they’ll use money out of their general funds.
The district hopes to hand out checks sometime around June 10th.