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Teacher recognized for making days better

October 06, 2009|By JANET HEIM

HAGERSTOWN -- Sherry Everitts is the kind of teacher who gives far more than expected, all because of her heart for teaching and for her students. Her organizing efforts, much of which go on behind the scenes, are the key to success for many events at Conococheague Elementary School, where she is the physical education teacher.

Everitts is also Activities/National Network of Parents Partnership co-chairperson and a member of the School Improvement Team.

On the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 6, the tables were turned and Everitts received quite a surprise. While in the audience of a schoolwide assembly -- supposedly to hear a presentation by Washington County Public Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan on the school's MSA scores -- Everitts was called to the front and told she was a recipient of the OfficeMax "A Day Made Better" award.

The announcement brought Everitts to tears as she received a hug from Principal Ryan Hench, who nominated her.

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"When you see all your colleagues stand up and applaud ... I couldn't do it without them," Everitts said.

She was one of 1,000 teachers honored nationwide by OfficeMax. Representatives from the office supply chain presented her with a donation of more than $1,000 worth of classroom supplies.

"It was a gigantic box. A color printer, markers, label maker, Kleenex, wipes, any office supply that could be used in the classroom ... ," Everitts said.

The National Education Association says teachers spend a large amount of their own money to pay for classroom supplies, which is one of the reasons behind the OfficeMax "A Day Made Better" program, part of their national school advocacy campaign.

Hench said Everitts is involved in every activity and committee in the school and considers her the assistant principal he doesn't have. He said she "pours a tremendous amount of resources into making things happen for the students. She does it all very humbly, very quietly, with no expectation for recognition."

Everitts was one of seven teachers in Maryland - and the only one in Washington County - to receive the honor.

"I'm a little overwhelmed, to say the least," said Everitts, her voice still shaking.

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