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The ‘nicest’ and ‘prettiest’ teacher ever

Published: Monday, May 27, 2013 1:23 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013 5:28 p.m. CDT
(BCR photo/Donna Barker)
Ladd Elementary teacher Jacki Knowles poses with her first-grade class Tuesday morning after she was named among the 1,000 teachers nationwide to receive recognition through OfficeMax’s “A Day Made Better” program. Knowles, who also celebrated her birthday on Tuesday, was nominated for the award by Principal David Lawrence.

LADD — A Ladd teacher is among the 1,000 teachers honored nationwide Tuesday by the OfficeMax “A Day Made Better” National School Advocacy Program.

Jacki Knowles, a first -grade teacher at Ladd Elementary, was surprised Tuesday in her classroom by OfficeMax personnel who presented her with a bouquet of flowers, a plaque, a new office chair and $1,000 worth of classroom supplies.

Knowles was nominated for the honor by Ladd Principal David Lawrence. In his nomination of Knowles, Lawrence said Knowles was hired this summer and has spent countless hours before school, after school and on weekends working on her curriculum and preparing her classroom. Knowles is one of the first to arrive and the last teacher to leave most nights, the principal said.

“She is a wonderful teacher and a great addition to our staff,” Lawrence said. “She continually puts her students’ wants and needs ahead of her own. I’ve watched her teach, and I’m so impressed that she is at our school, teaching our students.”

At Tuesday’s presentation, OfficeMax spokesperson Jen Pyszka said the average American teacher spends about $1,000 out of his/her own pocket on school supplies each year. For the past seven years, OfficeMax and AdoptAClassroom.org have joined together to create “A Day Made Better’ to help ease the financial burden for teachers, she said.

The “A Day Made Better” is done each year on the first Tuesday of October to honor teachers for their hard work and dedication, Pyszka said.

“We know how hard it is for our teachers to teach our students in today’s age, and the cost that goes along with it,” Pyszka said. “You (the teachers) are developing our children for the future, and it’s wonderful for us, at OfficeMax, to support our community.”

As Knowles’ students sorted through all the gifts in the OfficeMax box, Knowles made sure her students said thank you to OfficeMax personnel. When asked by the OfficeMax personnel to describe their teacher, the first-graders said their teacher was the nicest, and prettiest, teacher ever.

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