93 / 70
      95 / 73
      92 / 69

      Pay it 4Ward - Weslaco teacher surprised with $400

      Gonzalez Elementary school teachers in Weslaco have been told they work on faith.It's the kind of faith that leads them to believe their profession is making a difference with shaping young minds.But inside room 204 at the school, there's a Pre-K teacher named Mrs. Handy who's about to learn first-hand the impact she's truly made."Oh my gosh," Handy said!But before her surprise, there's the nomination.Marissa Santillan is a mother of four.Two of her children have been taught in San juanita Handy's classroom."They might slack off by you know talking, playing with other kids, not paying attention... But she would take her time... You know you need to behave... You know... call their attention," Marissa explains.She admits her kids can be a handful with difficulty concentrating or sitting still.Marissa credits Mrs. Handy's love, patience, kindness and respect as the foundation for her children's bright future."Not all teachers get recognized that often... And it's hard... Cause us as parents... We can do only so much to thank them... What other way than this," she said.Marissa wants to Pay it 4Ward.Pronto Insurance has the Pay it 4Ward $400 prize."Just like Pronto Insurance and Action 4 News... We recognize the community and the impact they have in our lives... Here's $400 to Pay it 4Ward," Domingo Reyna, district manager said.The surprise nomination draws a crowd outside Mrs. Handy's classroom."I stutter when I'm nervous," Marissa said.Weslaco I.S.D. leaders and its media department want to witness history at the school."Who's ready to surprise her," Action 4's Ryan Wolf asked to the crowd outside the room? "Let TMs go Pay it 4Ward... I'm so excited!"Ryan: "I'm looking for Mrs. Handy?"Teacher: "I'm Mrs. Handy."Ryan: "I'm here because somebody thinks you're one of the most special teachers in the whole wide world. Marissa tell her why."Teacher: "Oh my gosh!"Marissa: "You've made a super great impact to my family... To all my kids... I reached out to Action 4 News... Because I'm very thankful for you being the teacher you are... On behalf of Channel 4... And ProntoInsurance... We want to Pay it 4Ward... Here's $400... 100, 200, 300 and 400!"Teacher: "Thank you... I don't know what to say... I've never gotten anything like this before... Thank you... Thank you so much... Thank you... I'm just doing my job... This is what I love to do... I love Pre-K... I love doingmy job... That's why I come to school every day."Mrs. Handy says it's been like this for three decades.And even when life's been tough, with the untimely passing of her husband some years back, she's been in the classroom.Teacher: "I'm just shocked... I am so shocked!"Ryan: "Hold that money up... That's $400right there... What are you going to do with your Pay it 4Ward cash?"Teacher: "Well... I'm a widow... So I do have a lot of bills to pay."Superintendent Dr. Ruben Alejandro admits that recognition like this doesn't happen often."I tell my staff... A lot of times teachers work on faith... It's gonna be awhile before someone comes back and says you know what you made a difference in my life... We're just lucky one of our teachers was recognized by this Pay it 4Ward," he said.Principal Dan Budimir says the honor speaks volumes for all teachers at the school."But especially Mrs. Handy... Just the reward... The kindness... It's a great thing," he said.After 29 years it appears Mrs. Handy learns her most valuable lesson of all-- her work matters!"Pay it 4Ward," she said.