The Hindu Community of Springfield honored Springfield High School teachers with a “Guru Vandana” program Tuesday in the school’s library. The 20 teachers and three councelors were selected by Hindu students at Springfield to show their appreciation for the job they do. Teachers are revered in Hindu culture for imparting knowledge and guidance. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Springfield High School honors teachers in the Hindu tradition

In a special ceremony, Springfield High School observed Guru Vandana — a Hindu tradition which celebrates the value of teachers.

Twenty teachers and three counselors were selected by Hindu students at Springfield to show their appreciation for the job they do.

Hindus hold teachers in high regard - so much so that they are given status above parents and next to God, according to Ravi Khanna, a practicing Hindu in Springfield.

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“Teachers are revered and appreciated very much in Hindu tradition/culture for not only imparting knowledge but setting an example and their guidance to transform the personality and character of their students,” Khanna said.

‘Guru’ is a combination of two Sankrit words: ‘gu,’ meaning darkness or ignorance and ‘ru’ meaning remover, according to Khanna. ‘Vandana’ means reverence or salutations.

Guru Vandana allows students a platform to honor their teachers, Khanna said.

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Springfield High students took turns sharing expressions of gratitude toward their teachers, to whom they later presented gift baskets.

“I am honored to participate in the Guru Vandana celebration. It is a learning experience for me about the Hindu community,” said Patrick Smith, lead principal at Springfield High School.

“My favorite part of the celebration is that it was student-driven, recognizing hard-working educators in Springfield High School who truly deserve it and are shaping the city into being a better place.”

The recognition was part of Teacher Appreciation Week last week.

Springfield City Schools has more than 500 teachers throughout the district, according to data from the Ohio Department of Education.

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