Hollis Academy Teacher Surprised With Donors Choose Award

Donors Choose_Hollis Academy.LaKeesha Jones
LaKeesha Jones (third from left), a Hollis Innovation Academy pre-K teacher, was surprised with a $2,000 Donors Choose gift card from representatives with PNC Bank. Also pictured is: Sydney Ahearn (second from left), director of Early Learning for APS; Hollis Academy Principal Dr. Diamond Jack; Erica Dechicchis, senior vice president of Client and Community Relations for PNC Bank; and Tabetha McCracken, also of PNC Bank.

By: Alicia Sands Lurry

On Friday, April 13, Hollis Innovation Academy pre-K teacher LaKeesha Jones received one of the best surprises any educator could ask for: a $2,000 gift to fund the classroom project of her choice.

Thanks to a donation from PNC Bank and Donors Choose, Jones was surprised with a  $2,000 gift card, a red super hero cape, flowers, special plaque, and dozens of cupcakes to share with students and staff. The surprise also includes an additional $2,000 gift to a pre-K teacher of Jones’ choosing.

“Early education is very important to us,” said Erica Dechicchis, senior vice president of Client and Community Relations for PNC Bank. “Our goal is to recognize awesome teachers. Ms. Jones is our teacher hero.”

The donation comes as part of the PNC Bank’s “Grow Up Great” initiative, which focuses on early childhood education and brings arts and sciences into the classroom.

“This is awesome,” said Jones, who has worked as a pre-K teacher for the past nine years. “I’m at a loss for words.”

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