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Area teachers honored | Community Spirit

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Area teachers honored
Area teachers honored


Glerum Elementary teacher Mary Ackerson wasn’t the only one surprised on Tuesday, when OfficeMax made a visit to the West Ottawa school to help bring awareness to the needs of teachers.

Yes, Ackerson was shocked to be honored for her work by being given $1,000 in school supplies, as part of OfficeMax’s and Adopt-A-Classroom’s “A Day Made Better” program. But all Glerum teachers were also surprised to learn that OfficeMax was also contributing an additional $4,000 in supplies to the school.br>
It was a fitting gesture, said Ackerson, a fifth-grade social studies teacher who was nominated for the award by interim Principal Jackie DelRaso.br>
“In a way, it was embarrassing to be singled out because this school is full of good teachers,” Ackerson said.br>
DelRaso said she nominated Ackerson for the honor because of her diligence as a teacher.br>
“Mary is always the first to volunteer for school improvement committees, math, writing, and literacy initiatives as well as developing international baccalaureate units of instruction in an effort to assure success for all students,” DelRaso said.br>
“Despite an environment that includes 70 percent of the population considered eligible for free and reduced lunch, as well as 30 percent English language learners, she assists students in creating educational goals that foster life long learning and achievement.”br>
OfficeMax and Adopt-A-Classroom joined hands to create “A Day Made Better,” to draw emphasis to the needs of teachers across the country. Every year, teachers spend an average of $1,000 of their own money to buy needed supplies, which adds up to more than $4 billion annually.br>
“The number is surprising, the reality unacceptable,” noted the “A Day Made Better” website.

So on Tuesday, they presented more than $1,000 in supplies to 1,100 teachers across the nation. Chad Parker, store manager at the Holland OfficeMax, said the additional $4,000 in supplies given to all Glerum teachers was collected from customers who donated.

The honor went to 45 teachers in Michigan. Besides Ackerson, other area teachers honored were Elizabeth English of Godfrey Elementary School, Leslie Kelly of East Leonard School in Grand Rapids, Linda Bartusch of Southwood Elementary in the Kentwood School District, Chellie Howard of Meadowlawn Elementary in Kentwood School District and Paula Martin of Shoreline Elementary in the Whitehall School District.

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