By Meg Hibbert Contributing Writer
G.W. Carver Librarian Terri Vangelos’ surprise was evident on her face. She had just learned she had been selected by the Virginia Lottery for a Thank a Teacher award of $2,500 in classroom supplies for her school, a vacation worth $2,500 and a gift card.
Her students cheered and gave her high fives.
Her name was drawn from nearly 6,000 entries submitted by teachers across the state who entered a special code from their thank-you notes from the Virginia Lottery.
Lottery representatives, Salem School Superintendent Curtis Hicks, State Senator David Suetterlein and Delegate Joe McNamara surprised Vangelos with the news on the last day of school June 10.
Carver students witnessed the announcement in an assembly, and the school’s preschoolers performed for the crowd.
It was the seventh year for the award-winning Thank a Teacher campaign, held in connection with National Teacher Appreciation in May.
Lottery partners who contributed are IBT, NeoPollard Interactive and The Supply Room, which is giving the school $2,500 in classroom supplies.
According to a press release from the Virginia Lottery, almost 50,000 thank-you notes were sent to Virginia K-12 public school teachers by their students, parents or other Virginia residents.
Virginia Lottery proceeds represent about 10% of the state’s entire budget for education, according to the media release. The support programs such as Early Reading Intervention, Mentor Teacher, K-3 Primary Class Size Reduction, School Breakfast, Algebra Readiness, Regional Alternative Education and Career and Technical Education, statewide based on priorities set by the governor and General Assembly each year.