Golden Empire teacher honored with $1,000 in classroom supplies

e-Connections Post

Golden Empire Elementary School teacher Patricia Rinaldi received a nice surprise on October 1 — $1,000 in classroom supplies as part of OfficeMax’s national “A Day Made Better” program.

Rinaldi, who has taught for 26 years (19 at Golden Empire), thought she was bringing her third- and fourth-grade students onto the blacktop in compliance with the school’s monthly fire drill. Once all the students were assembled outside, Principal Irene Eister announced that Rinaldi had been selected to receive an OfficeMax van-full of items such as a beautiful leather desk chair, a Kindle, a digital camera, pens, pencils, a jump drive and more.

“I was honored, touched, moved, and very excited when I heard, ‘Please come up here’,” Rinaldi said. “Then, when all my kids came up for the group hug (which almost knocked me over due to their enthusiasm and joy), I was again reminded why I love my job.”

Principal Eister, parents and OfficeMax staff nominated Rinaldi for the honor because “she goes to bat for each and every student,” Eister said. “She pushes, encourages and rallies each student to do their personal best, each and every day, even when they think they can’t do any more.”

Rinaldi was among 1,000 teachers nationally nominated by their principals for OfficeMax supplies because of their extraordinary efforts in the classroom. Since 2007, the “A Day Made Better” program has contributed more than $18 million in grants and supplies to support more than 29,000 teachers and their classrooms.

The OfficeMax store on Power Inn Road has partnered with Golden Empire on fundraisers and other projects for several years, said store manager Stacy Blackhurst. “OfficeMax realizes how much teachers spend on their classrooms and we want to help,” she added.

According to OfficeMax research, the average American teacher spends between $400 and $1,500 of their own personal funds on classroom supplies annually.