Lifestyle

Oak Harbor teacher supported to the max

Teacher Nicole Bouvion sits in her new leather office chair surrounded by her third graders. In the back are OfficeMax employees Rubin Cavitt, John Mohan, Roger Haskin (manager), Nelanna Miller and Tom Fiala. - Joe Hunt/Oak Harbor School District
Teacher Nicole Bouvion sits in her new leather office chair surrounded by her third graders. In the back are OfficeMax employees Rubin Cavitt, John Mohan, Roger Haskin (manager), Nelanna Miller and Tom Fiala.
— image credit: Joe Hunt/Oak Harbor School District

Third grade teacher Nicole Bouvion, of Olympic View Elementary, was surprised this month by an entourage from the local OfficeMax store, bearing gifts for her and her students.

Bouvion was presented more than $1,000 worth of school supplies, including a leather office chair and digital camera, as this year’s recipient of OfficeMax’s “A Day Made Better” award. Each year OfficeMax picks out a teacher to receive a boost of school supplies in what the company says is an effort to “erase teacher-funded schools.”

Bouvion returned to the classroom this year after several years as the school’s librarian. When budget reductions led to a cut in the number of elementary librarians, Bouvion volunteered to get back in the classroom.

“She was starting from scratch,” Principal Martha Adams said, who nominated Bouvion for the award. “She didn’t have all the years of accumulation of classroom supplies and this seemed like the perfect fit for the perfect classroom.” Bouvion is the first winner from Oak Harbor schools.

Students were as surprised as their teacher. Each child received a supply box filled with pencils, colored pencils and crayons, in addition to a ruler and tote bag.

“Mrs. Bouvion, is this a dream?” one of the excited students asked.

“Yes,” Bouvion said, “this is a dream.”

Annually in October, 30,000 OfficeMax associates surprise and honor more than 1,000 teachers at Title 1 schools around the country with a total of $1,000,000 worth of classroom supplies – $1,000 per classroom. According to OfficeMax, surveys have shown that teachers spend on average $623 of their own money on school supplies every year.

OfficeMax holds “A Day Made Better” nationally to help attract public attention to the problem of teacher out-of-pocket spending and motivate the public to help teachers by adopting them through Adopt-A-Classroom. The program can be found online at www.adoptaclassroom.org.

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