Enterprise grade school librarian Gail Hillock got a welcome surprise Friday when a contingent of U.S. Cellular representatives, members of the press, and school superintendent Brad Royse popped into the library with balloons, an award plaque, and notification that she was a U.S. Cellular "Calling All Teachers" Award winner.
Local U.S. Cellular representative Sam Summers had informed schools of the newest U.S. Cellular contest, which guaranteed to fund $1 million in school projects nationwide. Thanks to Summers' effort to "get out the vote," Enterprise came very close to winning $100,000 in the "Calling All Communities" U. S. Cellular contest last winter. That contest resulted in $100,000 checks to 10 schools across the nation.
Given Enterprise near-success with the first contest, Summers said he wanted local teachers to get a shot at his company's newest award- "Calling All Teachers."
All teachers had to do was submit a project and choose the items they needed to complete their project from catalogue of school supplies listed online. Hillock, who had just found out that Enterprise Administration and Technology Committee was going to supply the library with 24 new computers, asked for two library tables to support the new computers.
The cost of the proposal was $915.
Hillock's proposal won.
"I'm so excited," Hillock said the day of the award. "The children and teachers are all going to be so excited to come in and all have a place to sit and learn individually at a computer station!"
U.S. Cellular representatives including Agent Manager Jammie Horn for Kennewick, Wash., and Julie Gustaffson, field marketing manager for Oregon and Washington, traveled to Enterprise to make the announcement in person.
"We felt so great when Enterprise nearly won the "Calling All Communities" contest that we were keeping our eye on the city for this one," said Gustaffson. "Enterprise was the top vote-getting school in the state for the previous contest. When we heard a teacher in Enterprise won a "Calling All Teachers" award we really wanted to get out here in person," she said.
Royse beamed with pride calling Hillock "a pretty ingenious lady" who was always on the lookout for sources of funding.
Hillock returned the compliment. "I knew Mr. Royse was working on getting 24 computers through a grant and I thought I'd do my part," she said.
Hillock will now be able to offer typing classes to all grades, allow research projects conducted by an entire class at once, and allow an entire class to do state testing online at the same time.
U.S. Cellular used the (DonorsChoose.org) online charity site to make the awards.