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Teacher surprised with school supplies
Christine Mattingly, the band director at Little Mill Middle School, far right, is presented with flowers and a donation from OfficeMax employee Jack Frazier on Tuesday as principal Connie McCrary looks on. - photo by Crystal Ledford

Christine Mattingly, the band director at Little Mill Middle School in north Forsyth, started her Tuesday morning off just as any other.

But her day soon got a lot better.

Mattingly was the only teacher in Forsyth County chosen to receive a donation of $1,000 worth of school supplies from the Cumming OfficeMax.

As part of the company’s annual A Day Made Better program, representatives from OfficeMax locations across the country select 1,000 teachers from economically challenged schools to receive $1,000 in classroom supplies.

In addition, the schools at which the teachers work receive another $1,000 in supplies, for a total gift of $2,000 in needed materials.

Mattingly was nominated for the program by Little Mill Principal Connie McCrary.

McCrary said Mattingly, who was the school’s 2012-13 Teacher of the Year, was deserving of the award.

“She is just an amazing educator,” McCrary said.

Lorrie Angell, the school’s PTSA president, has been working with the local OfficeMax store this school year to help get needed materials and that’s how she learned of the A Day Made Better program.

“Every month [a store employee] calls me and gives me things that are either not selling well or they’re damaged in that that label is incorrect or something small like that,” Angell said. “So we’ve used those items in giveaways and in our school store.

“[OfficeMax] has helped us stock the school store this year at a discount, so that’s really helped us because we make money and then in turn…spend that for the teachers.”

McCrary said she had never heard of the program until Angell learned of it.

“I’m so grateful to Lorrie for establishing this great relationship with OfficeMax this year,” she said.

Four representatives from the store arrived Tuesday morning with flowers and a new office chair for Mattingly, as well as two large orange boxes — one for Mattingly’s classroom and the second for use by the entire school — filled with everything from paper and pencils to electronics.

Mattingly, who has been Little Mill’s band director since the school opened seven years ago and a music educator for 21 years, was completed surprised by Tuesday’s visitors.

“Oh my goodness,” she said when the large box was wheeled into her classroom. “Look at all that awesome educational stuff in there. There’s so many great things in that box.”

Later, she said she the donation was “totally unexpected.”

“It was such a wonderful surprise.”

Daryl Tucker, the local OfficeMax manager, said the program began seven years ago.

“We know how much teachers spend of their own money to supply their classrooms every year, so OfficeMax decided to get together with local schools just to ensure that we can do our part and make sure teachers get some much-needed supplies,” he said.

Part of the donations came from OfficeMax customers who purchased additional items for an in-store drive over the summer.

In total, OfficeMax and its customers were able to provide about $1.7 million worth of classroom supplies to educators around the country during the 2013 A Day Made Better program.