End-of-the-year surprise: Salem teacher wins vacation from Virginia Lottery

Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 11:57 AM EDT
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SALEM, Va. (WDBJ) - The end of the school year is full of excitement and joy for students getting ready for summer break. At G.W. Carver Elementary School in Salem, one teacher received a special surprise during a final sendoff Friday morning.

As students filed into the gymnasium, Principal Kristyn Schmitt knew one teacher would receive a vacation and a $250 gift card. But students thought it was just an assembly to receive class awards and get excited for summer break.

“Everyone knew something was happening, but nobody knew exactly what would happen,” Schmitt said.

After the presentation of class awards and a bit of dancing from the school’s mascot, Virginia Lottery awarded Terri Vangelos, G.W. Carver’s librarian, a Virginia-themed vacation. The school will also receive $2,500 in supplies from The Supply Room.

“It was very exciting, I’m so happy our school is getting recognized and that we’ll receive school supplies, and that I have the vacation,” Vangelos said.

The vacation is the prize in Virginia Lottery’s ‘Thank a Teacher’ campaign where students each wrote a thank you note to their teachers. Once the note is received, teachers could enter for a chance to win the vacation with a web code on the note. Vangelos’ name was drawn from almost 6,000 entries across the state.

“The best thank yous are the ones from the kids,” Vangelos said. “All 468 of our students wrote a thank you note to one of their teachers and that was the best part for me.”

Principal Schmitt explained how excited she was to present the award to Vangelos because of the impact she’s had as school librarian.

“To have someone like Ms. Vangelos win that is incredible because she’s such a quiet, humble leader in our building and does so much for everybody in our school,” Schmitt said.

Vangelos will have the choice between taking a Virginia themed winery and brewery vacation or a health and wellness vacation.

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