A sea of pink Feb. 2 at Etna Road Elementary School illustrated the love and support of its students and staff for second-grade teacher Beth Robine, who last month completed chemotherapy and radiation for the successful treatment of breast cancer.
Every student at Etna Road traced his or her hand on pink paper, made a cutout and wrote a message inside for Robine.
"Oh, my gosh, I was so shocked and surprised. It was really unbelievable and overwhelming," said Robine, who was diagnosed last March.
Jessica Moore, principal at Etna Road, successfully orchestrated the surprise presentation Feb. 2.
"(Beth) has the biggest heart ever and we wanted to recognize her," Moore said. "After everything she has done for so many of us here at Etna, we wanted to do something for her."
Apart from the hundreds of pink cutouts, known as "High Fives for Mrs. Robine," staff and students served breakfast, made pink cupcakes and presented Robine with gifts.
The presents included pink flowers, a 16-inch pink poodle and a green purse -- another favorite color.
"The kids have been fabulous all along," Robine said -- especially while she completed treatment last fall.
"I had a wig, but it was hot and scratchy, so I went bald. They weren't fazed at all and as it grew in gray, we called it 'platinum blonde' instead," Robine said.
Robine, 60, is a graduate of Bishop-Hartley High School, Bowling Green State University and Ohio State University.
She taught at Etna Road Elementary School from 1980-88, then at schools in New York, Wisconsin, Georgia and Missouri as her then-husband was transferred to different job sites.
In 2003, she applied for jobs in Columbus and found herself back at Etna Road.
"My principal and all the kids here are supportive and wonderful," said Robine.
She had a piece of advice for women: Get a mammogram.
"A regular mammogram (led to my diagnosis) and I was successfully treated," she said.