DUNCAN, OK (KSWO) - Today students at Duncan Public Schools completed their first day of classes, but teachers are still on cloud nine after they received a surprise from the district's foundation.
On Monday, administrators, and teachers gathered at the Simmons Center for their annual back-to-school kickoff event. Teachers were served breakfast and received their welcome letters. The event quickly turned around after cheerleaders, band members, and people from the community showed up cheering and clapping for the teachers. The celebration was capped off by the announcement of a 20-thousand-dollar donation, to be equally spread among 200 teachers in the form of a 100-dollar Amazon gift card.
Organizers said the teachers had no idea about the surprise. For the past few months, the foundation sold t-shirts to the community for twenty dollars to raise the money. They said teachers already spend too much money throughout the year on expenses. This was a small token to show their support.
Duncan Middle School seventh grade English teacher Beth Curry said she was speechless after the announcement about the gift cards. “It was a moment where you have so many people that are surrounding you. That you know they are there for one purpose and one purpose only. That's to show their support and concern about Duncan Public Schools”, said Curry.
Duncan Middle School Principal, Lisha Elroy said their facial reactions to the surprise were priceless.
"Basically that was a symbol. Them showing us a symbol. The community has your back; we are here for you. Whatever you guys need we want to help”, Elroy said.
Executive Director of Duncan Public Schools Foundation, Haylee Root says the money for the gift cards was set aside from their annual letter-writing campaign, where they contact business leaders, Duncan alumni and local organizations to contribute money that can be used to improve education in Duncan. The funds have also been spent on STEM programs and textbooks, but they wanted this gift to be targeted specifically for the teachers.
"No strings attached. A gift that they can use to reimburse themselves or just spend it on something from their classroom. We are not going to ask any questions”, Root said.
A simple Thank you just wasn't enough. Duncan Public Schools Foundation says they wanted to deliver a message to all of the teachers that will hopefully last all year long.
"I hope that you now know that by seeing the out pour of support from this community. It's just a brief introduction”, said Root.
"On the good days, and on the bad days just remember why we are here. We are here for the kids”, said Elroy.
The school foundation is still brainstorming more fund raising ideas for teachers for next year. They want their gifts to be bigger and better, but they need more members from the community to step up and show support.