Teacher Barbara Zarras recently got quite a surprise on the job at Avon Center School in Round Lake Beach.
Zarras, whose school is part of Grayslake Elementary District 46, was among 1,000 educators across the country recognized with OfficeMax's "A Day Made Better" award.
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Along with a hearty recognition from her Avon Center colleagues, Zarras received an assortment of about $1,000 in OfficeMax supplies to support her pupils and school. OfficeMax says the $1,000 represents what a teacher spends out of pocket on classroom supplies annually.
M. Lynn Barkley, who recently resigned as Avon Center School's principal and District 46's second-ranking administrator, nominated Zarras for the recognition.
District 46 Superintendent Ellen Correll said Barkley, in part, cited how Zarras is a building leader among the staff and that she's well respected by students, parents and her co-workers.
Zarras was highlighted in a 2-minute, 30-second amateur video celebrating her award. Zarras was lauded for being a lifelong learner and for making every day a pleasure at Avon Center School.
"Congratulations, Ms. Zarras!" says a graphic on the video. "Love, Mrs. Barkley."