And of course a chalkboard with the day's "agenda" (a.k.a. menu) written in perfect cursive
Each guest also had a "name tag" (which happened to work in my Bare Midriff green apple logo quite nicely, I think)
While I rushed about the kitchen (and rather mercilessly barked orders at the Sous Chef), my guests sat back and enjoyed the vegetable tray...
...as well as an assortment of beverages (with silly straws, of course - we teachers like to have a little fun ourselves, you know)
Thanks to a tip from one of my guests, I was able to locate some of those old-school (pardon the pun) trays with the compartments for each food item, just like I remembered from my childhood
I loaded up everyone's tray with traditional school lunch fare, but with a gourmet spin: grilled flatbread pizza with roasted red pepper sauce, fresh mozzarella, goat cheese, spinach and caramelized onion; bacon-wrapped tater tots with barbecue sauce; fresh green beans with sauteed shallots, corn, and roast almonds, and a strawberry-basil shortcake trifle. The final touch was a delicious "chocolate milk" cocktail (that, in my opinion, was the hit of the party - we teachers know a good cocktail when we see one)
Before they left, each guest received a Back-to-School Survival Kit, packaged in a lunch box
All said and done, it was a great party for a great group of dedicated, wonderful teachers. Here's wishing everyone a happy, healthy, safe 2011 - 2012 school year!