Teachers line up for back-to-school thanks and shopping
Irene Villa (left) representing Cold Stone Creamery, hands out discount coupons to teachers Marisela Ruiz (front) and Jessica Carrillo during the back-to-school shopping event at Staples in El Centro on Saturday morning. (DENNIS JACOBELLI)
Such was the scene during the “Teacher Appreciation Day” on Saturday at both Staples stores in El Centro, where educators from around the Imperial Valley readied themselves to stock their classrooms before their scores of students go back to school on different Mondays this month.
“I had a nice vacation. I got rested,” Martha Rael-Loera, a second-grade teacher at Ben Hulse Elementary School in Imperial, said while shopping at the Staples on North Imperial Avenue.
“Actually I’m really excited about the school year,” she said. “I think every year is a new beginning for students.”
Fellow teachers echoed similar sentiments as they waited in line for their free gift bag of school supplies and were treated to shopping-time snacks of fruit, drinks and cupcakes inside the store.
“I’m looking forward to it,” Curtis Pettijohn, Frank Wright Middle School seventh-grade math teacher, said of the start of school as he waited in line with his wife and daughter.
“I always get to make a positive impact on students,” he said. “When the students listen to the teachers and the parents support us it all works out.”
“I think it’ll be nice and fun, maybe,” 8-year-old Eliana Pettijohn said.
“I’m hoping to know more math than I used to because when my dad asked me to do math he gives me dimes,” she said.
Other teachers were also thinking of their more permanent students — their children — as they continued back-to-school shopping for their classrooms.
Calexico’s Mains Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Isaura Badillo seemed proud of her middle school-aged sons’ academic performances last school year at their respective schools in Imperial.
“I don’t hope they do well, I expect them to do well,” Badillo said. “The same goes for my students, and they work hard.”
El Centro teacher Cynthia Munguia stocked up for the new space she and other Ballington Academy for the Arts and Sciences kindergarten and first-grade teachers and students will be occupying at the Sylvan Learning Center near La Brucherie Avenue.
“We need more stuff since we’re going to the new building,” Munguia, who teaches kindergarten, said. “I expect a lot of excited parents. It’s pretty near out there.”
“What a wonderful school year we’re going to have,” Rael-Loera said.
Staff Writer Roman Flores can be reached at 760-337-3439 or email@example.com