By Wendy Nugent, Harvey County Now
NEWTON—Northridge Elementary School Principal Megan Nagel stood near a line in the school gym, getting hug after hug from students and even one teacher who were among those gathered there for a big school announcement.
The announcement centered around the school getting awarded $2,500 from the Kansas State Treasurer’s Office Choose My School Supply Drive, which was in August. The school was chosen randomly after Nagel nominated the school. Nagel’s nomination was the winning entry.
State Treasurer Lynn Rogers was on hand Thursday morning to present the check to science teacher Emily Schmidt. The actual check was one of those big ones, like in the movie “Happy Gilmore.”
On the day before Nagel went on medical leave to get a kidney removed because she has kidney cancer, the school received the call they were the award recipient, Nagel said, and now on the first day back from medical leave, she was able to see the financial presentation.
“We got a call about a month ago we were going to be the recipient of this,” Nagel said after the presentation.
She said the school will use the funds for a greenhouse to be at the school and used by the whole school. Schmidt has always dreamed of having a greenhouse at the school.
“So we’re glad to make that happen,” Nagel said, adding Schmidt will be the one to use the greenhouse.
“I’m hoping once we get the money, we can have it up and running in the spring,” Nagel said, adding first she needs to do some research on what is needed to install it.
Before the presentation, Rogers asked how many students were at the school, to which the answer was 175.
“You won’t be able to run this check through the ATM,” Rogers said during the check presentation. “We’re pleased to give this to Newton and Northridge school.”
Rogers also asked students how many were reading a book at home right now, and a few hands were raised. He said he still reads books, and he encouraged the students to do the same.
“Supplies can include but are not limited to everything from pens, pencils, cleaning wipes, all the way to physical education equipment or new tablets for a classroom,” according to a contest announcement on the Internet. “Grants and scholarships are not considered a school supply.”
Making the giveaway possible were Learning Quest 529 accounts, which allow people to save funds for post-secondary educational expenses.
“529 accounts are a great resource for individuals to use for their own educational expenses,” Rogers said. “And businesses can set them up to provide funds to employees for continuing education, as well. Learning Quest is a great program, and I’m excited to be supporting Northridge Elementary with school supplies this year. Having been a school board member, I know how much of an impact we are making with this program.”
There were over 2,300 nominations total for the giveaway, and the treasurer’s office ran the drive, according to a news release.