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Area schoolteachers, staff surprised with a shopping spree

Published: Aug. 12, 2021 at 6:49 PM CDT
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MART, Texas (KWTX) – Mart ISD teachers and staff got a surprise shopping spree just days ahead of the first day of school.

The Mart ISD Enrichment Foundation surprised 67 employees with the news during the district’s first in-service meeting this week.

“It’s way different than what we’ve done in the past,” foundation president Susan Luce told the group.

“We’re sponsoring a shopping trip today for everybody.”

Within hours 67 employees, including teachers, aides, service workers and administrators boarded school buses and headed to Waco to shop ‘til they dropped.

The teachers were able to choose between two stores, Mardel or Target, and all were able to shop on their own so they could pick out exactly what they needed.

“It was quite the surprise,” said teacher Andrea Hall.

“It gave us all that extra oomph to make our first day for the students extra perfect.”

So successful was Hall’s trip, she couldn’t

“Oh, I can’t even. I can’t even itemize it. There’s so much. We just went wild. It was crazy! It was awesome!”

First grade teacher Emmali Pankonien said she picked up plants for her classroom, something she wanted, but which was lower on her list when she was planning to spend her own money.

“I’ve personally spent money for my kiddos, so this was just an added bonus to get those little few things I wasn’t personally able to go ahead and put in the money for and make sure my kiddos are ready for the school year,” she said.

Teacher Amy Laughlin agreed.

“It’s given me the opportunity to buy stuff that I was going to have to buy anyways but it gives me lots of extra stuff they’ll be able to use and enjoy using throughout the year. "

Fifth and sixth grade reading teacher Madison Poteet was also relieved to not have to come out of pocket anymore to start the school year.

Plus, she said, the shopping surprise was fun.

“It means so much because normally we just kind of spend our own money to get our candy for our students and our books and our extra supplies, so it means so much to us for them to provide it for us,” Poteet said.

“What’s better than target with a ton of teachers?’ she laughed. “Nothing!

Mart students will be able to enjoy the purchases when they return to the classroom next Wednesday.

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