John Tuck, a 5th grade math and science teacher at Rolling Ridge Elementary, was surprised with a shopping spree on Monday afternoon by the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, when Pierre Garçon unexpectedly walked into his classroom.
Winning Teacher of the Year would be a surprise for any teacher, but to be surprised by a Washington Redskins player in your classroom for your accomplishments may have been an even bigger shock for John Tuck.
Pierre Garcon surprised Mr. John Tuck in his classroom with a shopping spree at Loudoun Learning. Pierre and Mr. Tuck traveled in style to the store for a one-on-one shopping experience.
To celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, Tuck, a 5th grade math and science teacher at Rolling Ridge Elementary School in Sterling, Virginia, was stopped in his tracks when wide receiver Pierre Garçon casually walked into his classroom on Monday afternoon.
Garçon was instantly recognized by Tuck and his 5th grade class and was followed by Michelle Johnson, owner of Loudoun Learning, a specialty teaching supply store, who had another big surprise for the deserving teacher.
Johnson carried in an oversized check, worth $500, that Tuck could spend in her store on supplies needed for his classroom both this year and next. Tuck was understandably honored to be named Teacher of the Year in Loudoun County Public Schools, but was also surprised to be recognized in such a public way.
"It was really cool to be recognized in a county as large as Loudoun to be thought of as one of the best teachers, but also to be recognized by the Redskins is awesome," Tuck said. "They've done so many things over the years for our kids to help support everybody at our school."
After the initial shock wore off, Tuck led his students into the hallway for a class photo with Garçon, Johnson and the check. Little to Tuck's knowledge, there was one more surprise.
There was a limo waiting outside to take Tuck to Loudoun Learning, so Tuck said goodbye to his students and climbed into the limo with Garçon and Principal Lottie Spurlock.
"It was real cool," Garçon said. "Definitely showing up at his job unexpectedly, [we] did a great job of keeping it a secret, definitely cool to see someone deserving get a great surprise especially to help the kids out."
Once they arrived at the store, Tuck received a shopping cart decorated with burgundy and gold streamers to collect his supplies. Johnson, who was once also a teacher in Loudoun County Public Schools, wanted to help celebrate a deserving teacher, knowing how expensive those classroom materials can be.
"It's always fun to give back to our teachers because they give back all the time," said Johnson. "It's even more special when they can actually come to the store and actually have the shopping spree that goes along with the gift certificate so that they can really see hands on what we have and what we carry."
Tuck walked around the store for about 30 minutes, collecting various decorations, rewards for his students and even spending some of his money on posters for his team of teachers, demonstrating why they nominated him for the prestigious honor.
"He's fantastic and he's so humbled with it too because, as much as he realizes that he's being celebrated, he realizes that he represents the great teachers of our school so I think that's what makes it all worthwhile and obviously why he's Teacher of the Year," said Rolling Ridge Principal Spurlock.
Tuck spent less than half of the money on Monday, but walked out of the store with a cart full of fun things for his classroom. He said that he is going to share the remainder of the reward with his wife, who is also a teacher in Loudoun County, and spend the rest before the start of the next school year.
Spurlock was extremely appreciative to have the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation honor one of the teachers at her school, knowing the "positive buzz" the organization brings to the students and faculty.
"To think that you all were doing this for our Teacher of the Year for all of Loudoun, but also really for our school, it was just huge," Spurlock said. "A lot of our students don't necessarily have some of these experiences or some are new to the country, they're learning the language some are tripled up in homes, they don't have some luxuries that other people might have in other parts of Loudoun, so this was major for our school."