By JACOB LOPEZ
Free Blue Bell ice cream for every student and staff member at your campus is just one of the perks of being teacher of the year. Laura Taylor, a first-grade teacher at Angela Gerusa Leal Elementary School, learned as much earlier this week.
Taylor was awarded as the 2015 Regional Elementary Teacher of the Year, but she never expected Blue Bell Creameries to contact her school and give everyone ice cream — that part was a surprise. That’s what occurred Thursday, Sept. 25, as Taylor was surprised by Blue Bell with a campus-wide ice cream party in which all students and staff were treated to free treats.
Then there are the four half-gallon tubs of chocolate ice cream — her favorite flavor — she will receive from the Brenham, Texas-based creamery.
She also received a book detailing the history of Blue Bell, which will go to the library in her honor.
“She was selected as a regional teacher of the year, so Blue Bell contacted me. They wanted to have a celebration in her honor, and they wanted to know how many staff members and students all together we have,” said AGL Principal Manuel Cruz.
There are about 500 students and 55 staff members, according to Cruz.
“They’re very excited,” Cruz said of the children gathered in the school cafeteria, where they lined up for the free ice cream.
Taylor said, “I feel fabulous! It was a big surprise” about the ice cream celebration.
To Taylor, this is one of the best awards she’s ever received, because it happened on her campus, and it’s the first time she’s ever had the opportunity to share the award with her students and the rest of the staff.
“Well, apparently, half my class knew, and they didn’t tell me,” said Taylor of her class, adding “they were able to keep a secret. … clever. …”
Teachers are first nominated on a campus level. After that, it goes to the district level, and then regional.