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Southwest Orange Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019 6 months ago

Gotha Middle School receives donation for school supplies

Four first-year teachers each received $250 to go toward school supplies and other items.
by: Tim Freed Managing Editor

One local middle school is starting its new school year on the right foot with the help of a generous gift.

Four first-year teachers at Gotha Middle School — Kelly Sanchez, Katherine Gray, Wendy Derrick and Henok Amare — were the recipients of a donation Wednesday, Aug. 14, totaling $1,000, or $250 per teacher.

The monetary gift, given by donor Dottie Wynn, will go toward school supplies and other classroom necessities to help create the best learning environment possible, Gotha Middle School Principal Monica Emery said.

“Some of our teachers are going to purchase flat-out supplies so they have a never-ending supply of pencils and notebooks and things like that for some of our kids who maybe aren’t able to purchase those throughout the school year,” she said. “With (the teachers) being brand-new, they don’t have a lot to make their classroom look warm and welcoming, and so some for them wanted to use some of that money to do that too.”

The teachers couldn’t be more thankful for the donor’s generosity, Emery said.

“It was someone local who worked with the OCPS foundation to donate a large sum of money to schools who have kids who may have economic needs,” Emery said. 

“We were pretty excited about it. The hard part for us was identifying only four teachers — we have over 60 teachers. We actually this year have four first-year teachers — this is their very first year teaching — so we chose those four.”

Other schools that received the $1,000 donation included Frangus, MetroWest and Westpointe elementaries, Emery said.

“It’s incredibly generous — we can’t afford to buy all of our teachers all of the things they need to make their classroom a welcoming environment,” Emery said. “For a brand-new teacher to have 250 extra dollars — that’s a pretty cool thing.”

The donation ties in to an important message that’s being passed along to students, Emery said.

“One of the things that we were focusing on last year and actually this year is just how important it is to be nice,” Emery said. “I don’t know this person. I don’t know if this person has a connection to the school. To have somebody just completely out of the blue want to help some of our teachers help kids … there’s not many things that are nicer than that.”

Tim Freed is the Managing Editor for the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. He previously spent six years covering the Winter Park/Maitland area and is a graduate of the University of Central Florida....

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