Central Texas teacher wins school supply shopping spree

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MCGREGOR, Texas (KWTX) A Central Texas teacher is starting the school year with a carload of new supplies after writing an essay for a store’s contest, winning, and then getting the chance to pile whatever she could into grocery carts in 99 seconds.

As time expired, Ellen Garcia had 3 ½ carts full of a total of $789 in supplies including everything from pencil sharpeners to divider, spirals, pens, and “definitely pencils” she said. (Courtesy photos)

Ellen Garcia, a seventh grade reading teacher at H.G. Isbill Junior High School in McGregor, won the contest put on by the 99 Cents Only Stores in Waco by entering an essay online about the need of her students.

“I just stressed the fact that if I won it, it would be used for my students,” Garcia said.

“It was all for them.”

Garcia wrote the essay in July and was selected as the winner shortly after.

Last Friday, on her third day back at McGregor, she made a pit stop before class at the store on Bosque Boulevard in Waco where at 7 a.m., before the doors opened, she was given just a minute and half to pile whatever she wanted into the baskets until time expired.

“I could have gotten anything and I choose only supplies for the kids,” she said.

As time expired, Garcia had 3 ½ carts full of a total of $789 in supplies including everything from pencil sharpeners to divider, spirals, pens, and “definitely pencils” she said.

The supplies filled up the entire back end of her SUV which she promptly drove to school where her thrilled students were waiting to unload.

“Their expressions were just in awe,” Garcia said. “They were ecstatic and happy.”

Garcia says the supplies are already being put to good use this second week of school for her kids and wants to thank the discount store, where she often shops, for giving her the opportunity.

“The 99 Cent Store is awesome and it helps especially with people on budgets,” she said.

“Everyone in there is always courteous and helpful. I just can’t say enough good things about them.”