During the month of May, the North Texas Honda Dealers recognized outstanding teachers with their dream list of school supplies for Teacher Appreciation Week. Along with inspiring their students, these teachers have gone above and beyond often by spending their own money on school supplies to enrich their student’s education. So, we wanted to give back and reward these incredible teachers for being so helpful to their own students both inside, and outside, of the classroom.

The celebration began in Rockwall, Texas at Rochell Elementary School, where 4th Grade Science and Social Studies teacher, Traci Tatom, was surprised with her dream supplies during a Career Day presentation. The day started off with the Helpful Honda people introducing local ABC Meteorologist, Colleen Coyle, who spoke candidly with the students about her job as a meteorologist and inspiring the students to pursue their dreams. Colleen ended her presentation by stating, “While the weather can be full of surprises, I hear we have a special surprise from the Helpful Honda people, too.” We then invited Mrs. Tatom to join us in front of the room, and unveiled an abundance of science learning materials and supplies including a professional weather monitoring system and STEM in Action kits! And the students were overcome with joy when they were each given a set of pencils and a pencil case! Principal Kelli Crossland stressed the importance that “the biggest need for our school is to show our students that sometimes when you least expect it, good things can happen.”

The excitement continued as we recognized 8th Grade Algebra teacher, Ernie Huben, of Liberty Junior High School in Dallas, with the help of 90 of his students and close colleagues. After learning that Mr. Huben is considered one of the most impactful teachers to both his colleagues and his students, we felt that it was time for him to see just how appreciated he is. As Mr. Huben walked into the school’s library, the entire room erupted into cheers as he walked toward our donation of school supplies he had always wished for, but could never afford — a 3D printer, Texas Instruments graphing calculators and roving calculators, math related boardgames, and more. Decorated with a smile that never left his face, Mr. Huben was overwhelmed and grateful for the donation and in the same tone, the support of his students. “There’s no other group that I’d want to share this with than you guys. This means a lot to me and you all mean the world to me. This is what I love.”

To wrap up our week of recognizing teachers, we made one final stop in Fort Worth, Texas at Springdale Elementary School to surprise 5thGrade Literacy teacher, Sonia Berzoza. Ms. Berzoza has made it a priority to act as role model and exemplary educator to her students, as she understands the importance of building relationships and creating a positive classroom culture. We felt it was time to switch roles and celebrate her efforts and hard work. We entered her classroom before school started to create a new reading corner for her students to enjoy. Out with the old and in with the blue carpet, bean bags, a new book shelf, books and five new chrome books! In true helpful spirit, Ms. Berzoza thanked us for our efforts, but also wanted to thank her staff and her family for helping her, too. “These new supplies will change everything for my students. It’ll inspire them to reach for more and want to succeed. Thank you so much, for your donation … and to my staff and family who help me, help others.”

Honoring the efforts of deserving local teachers who double as role models for their students, is just one of many ways we’re giving back to communities across North Texas. So, what’s next for us? Later this month, you can find our Helpful Honda people across North Texas pumping free gas for Honda drivers and veterans starting Memorial Day weekend through the summer! Follow us at Facebook.com/NTXHondaDealers and Twitter.com/NTXHondaDealers to find out where we’ll be next.