Catholic School Teachers Surprised With Supplies

Catholic School Teachers Surprised With Supplies

It was an exciting day for three area teachers. OfficeMax representatives paid each of them an unexpected visit, and they did not come empty-handed.
It is one lesson 4th Grade teacher Rainee Tilkins did not plan.

"[I] totally lost my train of thought as I was trying to teach math. I had no idea what was going on. I was in complete shock. Complete shock," she said.

Tilkins was one of 1,000 teachers nationwide surprised by OfficeMax Tuesday morning with $1,000 worth of school supplies. Since she started at St. John Neumann Catholic School three years ago, she says she has spent countless dollars on her classroom.

"If you ask my husband, probably $5,000. Most of my paycheck goes to my classroom," she said. "Just to help my students be the best they can be. I just want to spend everything on them. I love them. They're awesome."

It is that attitude that prompted school principal Marie Arcuri to nominate Tilkins for the award.

"She goes the extra distance all the time. Whether it's buying extra materials for her classroom or spending extra time teaching, when you walk by her room, she is always teaching," Arcuri said.

According to OfficeMax, most teachers spend $1,000 out-of-pocket on average each school year. That is why they started the "A Day Made Better Advocacy Program" seven years ago.

"We understand what the schools go through and what the teachers go through and the challenges they have. So, we wanted to do something where we could help the schools and help the teachers," Victor store manager Don Scalise said.

Tilkins got a new chair. There is also a Kindle, a digital camera, pens, pencils, binders, notebooks, markers, crayons and other supplies.

"I am so grateful. The students were so excited. It was so much fun to see them and see them so excited to go through that box," Tilkins said.

That is something this teacher cannot put a price on.

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