Messenger photo by Dedra Cordle
Under the guise of a school assembly, two teachers at
"I am just overwhelmed," said Sullivan, who teaches second-graders. "I had no idea why were coming here (to the assembly) today."
According to the National Education Association, on average, teachers can spend up to $1,200 of their own money for essential school supplies per year. That fact did not go unnoticed, so a new idea was invented.
OfficeMax, in partnership with Adopt-a-Classroom, teamed up for a new company-wide community initiative called "A Day Made Better." The program honors the teachers who make a difference in their student’s lives.
On Oct. 2, they set out to surprise 1,000 teachers in 1,000 schools across the country on the same day. The timing was supposed to be in tandem, but there was testing going on in the building earlier that day.
"We just wanted to go out and recognize the special teachers," said Chuck Bosma, the manager of the Sawmill Road OfficeMax.
The goodies for the classroom included: glue, pens, post-its, maps, a digital camera, a color printer and even a new rolling chair. However, with two teachers sharing these items, one has to be creative with splitting them up.
"We have the closest rooms in the building, so we’ll just roll it back and forth between the classrooms," Varsanyi joked. She has been teaching at
The principals of the schools were asked to consider the teacher’s achievements, their efforts in making learning fun for students by using innovative techniques for greater understanding, and their passion for education and teaching.
Together, Varsanyi and Sullivan have over 50 years of teaching experience.
"We teach because we love it," Sullivan said. "I can’t imagine teaching anywhere else."
Since educators are so vital to the development of shaping the minds of young students, Principal Elaine Lawless decided to honor all the teachers in the building, not just Varsanyi and Sullivan.
Before it was announced exactly what was going on, (it was to remain a surprise until the unveiling) the 21 teachers at
"This assembly was a wonderful opportunity to recognize all of our outstanding teachers," Lawless said.