SEATTLE, May 8, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Across the country, there are more than four million teachers 1 who fuel a lifelong passion for education by inspiring and shaping the future minds of tomorrow. Today, zulily, the online retailer obsessed with bringing special finds every day to its customers, is launching a week-long celebration in honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week. Through a series of curated collections, zulily will spotlight six incredible teachers who are winners of the zulily Thank a Teacher Contest, based on inspirational stories submitted by zulily customers.
The growing costs associated with children's education is not limited to parents alone. The average teacher spends $500 investing in their classroom, with one in ten having spent $1,000 or more.2 In honor of their commitment, zulily kicked off the Thank a Teacher Contest in April, receiving more than 8,000 heartfelt nominations by zulily fans sharing how a teacher in their life made an impact. Today, zulily spotlights the appreciation of teachers everywhere by elevating 50 stories that exemplify the personal sacrifices, fortitude and dedication to the growth of their students, and is providing these winners with $500 to outfit their classroom with finds from zulily.com.
Of the 50 winners, six teachers were invited to curate sales events catered to teachers, that feature classroom ready merchandise in specialized categories, such as STEM, Art & Creative Play, Foreign Language, Homeschool & Montessori, Special Needs, and Teacher Supplies & Furniture. zulily salutes educators everywhere and this week only is offering an additional 15% off items purchased from these six curated sales events, on top of the up to 70% off customers already receive, for teachers to shop for their classrooms and support their peers.
"Educators are a cornerstone of our community and great teachers have encouraged and impacted everyone in meaningful ways, big and small. What makes teachers unique is their passion and dedication to go above and beyond, personally investing time and money to better their students and their environments," said Darrell Cavens, CEO of zulily. "We wanted to bring visibility to everything that teachers do and spotlight a few stories that are emblematic of all teachers who have moved our customers and employees. A heartfelt thank you, from all of us here at zulily."
zulily recognizes and gives special thanks to the teachers who inspired the curated collections: Randall Dunkin, a science teacher from North Adams High School, in Seaman, OH; Kellie Gaffney, a Spanish teacher at Lisha Kill Middle School, in Albany, NY; Sheryn Hodgson, a home school teacher for Redding School of the Arts, in Redding, CA; Tatum Allhiser, a teacher of all subjects, Stronghold Court School, Canby, CA; Blaire Goodson, High School English, Darlington High School, Darlington, SC Jessica Lara , 2nd Grade, WCSD Bud Beasley Elementary, Sparks, NV for going above and beyond to bring light and learning to their classrooms and students of unique and diverse needs.
zulily shares a few stories that illustrate how teachers impact everyone they touch:
Marina Collier, 2nd Grade, Gilmore Elementary, League City, TX.Marina has gone above and beyond for what she considers her children in her home away from home. I have seen Mrs. Collier literally give a little girl one of the shirts off her own back when she was cold. She goes above and beyond to make each student realize they have potential for all things and while they may alone sometimes in this world they will always have her and her love for years to come. She's not just a teacher, she is someone people should strive to be more like. – Meagan Molina
Crystal Schroeder, Special Education Work-Based Learning Coordinator for Hiawatha Valley Education District, Winona, MN.Crystal serves students within all disability areas, including Emotional Behavioral Disorders, Specific Learning Disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and other such disabilities. In rural Minnesota, she travels to about 13 schools in the district to teach emotionally challenged and autistic students job skills, find them jobs, and works with employers to monitor their job skills and performance. – Cynthia Miller
Dawna Gatrost, AVID/ELA/History, Canyon Lake Middle School, CA. Mrs. Gatrost is a school mom to everyone, but especially the foster youth. As a former foster parent, her trauma-based training is invaluable to promptly recognizing the struggle typical students don't have to deal with. Her tough love in AVID teaches the organization skills children desperately need for success in life. She's a great communicator with the parents and an important part of foster children's "village" who raised them. She's the reason we don't shy away from fostering middle school aged kiddos! She's hands down the best teacher we've met, and I volunteer with foster children all across southern California. – Valentina Rocnik
Jeffrey Gross, Special Education, Edison High School, Philadelphia, PA.Jeff's music therapy program is the impossible in a Philadelphia class for multiple handicapped students. With no budget, he has brought in music therapy students to work in his class twice weekly and not surprisingly there have been amazing results from the once silent students. He has also found a way to bring in alpacas from the surrounding area, definitely a first for his students! He just keeps talking to people he meets and keeps looking for resources to bring into school for his "kids." His calm attitude is not the usual in the school but cannot be replaced. – Jessica Levin
Iyana Tennon, Elementary, all subjects, Virtuous Academy, Duquesne, PA.Iyana runs a beautiful and thoughtful school for kids who attend a really tough district. Many kids drop out and the others that remain are often bullied and underperforming. Iyana created Virtuous Academy to provide a safe option for these kids, with a strong academic curriculum. STEM is a large part of it, as she believes jobs in the sciences are a way for these young people to break the cycle of poverty in their families. – Gisele Fetterman
Jennifer Sever, Special Education, Marysville High School, Marysville, OH. Mrs. Sever has dedicated her time to helping special needs children. She does everything in her power to educate herself on how to help these kids live as fun and as normal of a life so they can feel just as much appreciated as all other children their age. She always speaks so highly of them and consistently tries to find creative ways to make sure they obtain a solid foundation for surviving in today's society. She is truly a gem. She is authentic and she has a heart of gold. – Meriele Moore
Karen Daley, 6th grade teacher, Monarch School, CA. Karen is a fierce and unrelenting advocate for the homeless students she serves. She is the most loving, kind, dedicated educator I have seen in action. She is tireless in her efforts to provide the students with a great education and strives to meet their emotional needs as well. She is committed to ensuring her students and all who meet her to become good people by her amazing, consistent example. She not only teaches character, grace, and gratitude; she lives and breathes it. She constantly spends her money to provide anything her students may need, without complaint. – Trisha Norris
Kathy Marx, Senior Communications, Appleton East High School, Appleton, WI.Mrs. Marx is so invested in her students, she knows each and every student, their family situation and what is going on in their life. She pays for students' Senior pictures, Prom manicures and dresses. She has students lined up every day to talk with her and help them with their situations. She never tells them no and she is always there for everyone. I don't know how she does it, but there seems to be no end to her goodness. – Katie Davis
Laurel Robinson, Teacher of Deaf or Hard of Hearing, Aurora Public Schools, Aurora, CO.She teaches deaf and hard of hearing teenagers. She inspires, guides, counsels, informs, comforts and celebrates each and every child like they were her own. Laurel is the most selfless teacher, always helping her students in any way possible to help them be the best person and to grow to their full potential. When my daughter was in her class she came with no experience in sign language and failing in all classes. She HATED school. After Miss Robinson took the time to teach her sign and help her understand not only social skills but life skills, she blossomed and became a straight A student. She learned to LOVE school. – Molly Drumps
Lisa Gifford, Language arts, Keller Primary School, Peoria, IL.Lisa has been teaching for Peoria School District 150 in Peoria, IL. for the past seven years. She mixes art, drama and reading to engage the students because she truly believes all children can learn when given opportunities to experience learning through their strongest ability, talent, and interest. She gives 110% daily in all she does and especially while teaching. Teachers everywhere give their all daily with little recognition or appreciation and Lisa is no different; but I feel she does an awesome job due to her ambitious desire to teach every child to their highest ability level. – Eva Balek
To learn more about the 50 inspiring winners of zulily's Thank a Teacher Contest and how they have impacted lives everywhere, visit The Find. Throughout National Teacher Appreciation Week, zulily will also be going LIVE on Facebook at 4:00 PM (PT) everyday to highlight some of the products featured in each event, and share more inspiring stories and surprises. Visit zulily.com and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest for more #zulilyThankATeacher inspiration and news. From zulily to teachers everywhere, view the brand's series of videos to say 'thank you'.
1National Center for Education Statistics: Projections of Education Statistics to 2017, Thirty-sixth edition
2TIME Money: Here's How Much Your Kid's Teacher Is Shelling Out for School Supplies
About zulily, llc
zulily (http://www.zulily.com) is a retailer obsessed with bringing customers special finds at incredible prices every day. zulily features an ever-changing, always delightful collection of clothing, home décor, toys, gifts and more––for the whole family. Unique products from up-and-coming brands are featured alongside favorites from top brands, giving customers something new to discover each morning. zulily was launched in 2010 and is headquartered in Seattle with offices in Ohio, Nevada and Pennsylvania. zulily has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liberty Interactive Corporation (NASDAQ: QVCA) since October 2015.