HOUSTON - It’s always fun to watch when someone is crowned with a deserving designation like Teacher of the Year. So when two HISD teachers were not only given the title but also a really nice surprise, we didn’t want to miss it.
How’s this for a surprise? The HISD elementary and middle school teachers of the year are receiving a brand new car to drive for the summer. That’s right!
A parade of people first flocked to the front door of Middle School Teacher of the Year Rebecca Hiatt.
“You are Teacher of the Year,” smiled HISD Interim Superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan.
About an hour later, the group also popped in on Elementary Teacher of the Year Rebecca Busse to also surprise her with a gang of good news.
"I had to show up today to recognize Barbara Bush Elementary School’s HISD Elementary Teacher of the Year,” says Dr. Lathan with great excitement as the crowd cheers.
As it turns out, that title comes with a plethora of presents. There’s a gift basket, gift cards, a not-so-small check for $2,500 and did I mention… "A brand new car that she can utilize throughout the summer. So she’ll return it somewhere around the beginning of the school year. It’s a fully loaded 2020 Acura RDX courtesy of Sterling McCall Acura,” smiles Dr. Lathan.
"This is amazing. This is so luxurious. Thank you so much,” Busse grins while sitting in the driver seat.
“It was a shock. I’m not one for surprises. So it was definitely a nice surprise,” adds Baylor College of Medicine Biotech Academy 7th grade science teacher Rebecca Hiatt.
Busse, a Bush Elementary School special needs teacher, is receiving the honor because she’s said to be a special teacher indeed.
"The joy, the progress, the growth that she gets from her boys and girls every year is just tremendous,” says Bush Elementary Principal Theresa Rose.
Hiatt has this big "thank you" coming her way for the work she does not only with students but her colleagues. “Coaching other teachers while also being a teacher myself."
Wearing masks and showing up at someone’s home is certainly a different way of telling a teacher she’s special, but it’s giving them something to smile about as the COVID-19 crisis keeps them out of their classroom.
“I miss my kids so much,” says Hiatt, and Busse echoes that, “I love them and I miss them.”
By the way, the two Rebecca’s can choose any color Acura SUV they want.
“It’s roomy. I think it’ll fit my daughter’s carseat,” smiles Hiatt.
“Do we have to give this back in the fall?” asks Busse. Actually, the teachers have the option to buy the vehicle at a reduced rate.
"I really need a new car so this works out great,” says Busse.
Even as amazing as the gifts are, the teachers say they would give them back in a minute if that meant they could spend the rest of the school year with their kids in the classroom. Now that’s dedication.