KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Friends, food and appreciation were served out Tuesday at Hardin Valley Academy.

Members of the Hardin Valley Business and Community Alliance came together to thank teachers with a special lunch for their hard work during a tough school year with the help of principal Rob Speas.

“It brings us so much joy to be able to serve them in this way, because they’re serving our students every day,” said Kim Frazier with the Hardin Valley Business and Community Alliance. “And it’s just one small way that we can say thank you for what they do every day.”

Speas said teachers are often the “unsung heroes” in even normal years.

“We learned real quickly that it was going to be another challenging year, so teachers are having to work extra hard,” he said. “We’ve done some things with their schedule that’s a little bit more of a challenge with our teachers as they adjust to those things. But, they keep coming in every day and doing the best for our kids.”

Engineering teacher and assistant basketball coach Tiffany Cantrell said the generosity does not go unnoticed.

“We’re a very close-knit community, and I think we’re a growing community and people notice that,” she said. “And with the businesses and things moving into, and the people moving into our community, it’s important that people feel rallied behind. And I do think teachers are feeling that.”