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Media specialist wins contest
Office Max Teacher pic
Black’s Mill Elementary School Media Specialist Ann Lott received a welcome surprise last Wednesday when representatives from Office Max in Cumming awarded her with A Day Made Better; more than $1,000 in classroom supplies. - photo by Photo/Michele Hester

Black’s Mill Elementary School Media Specialist Ann Lott had no idea her principal had nominated her for the Office Max A Day Made Better contest until Office Max representatives arrived at the school on Wednesday with $1,200 in school supplies.



Lott was one of over 1,000 teachers across the country to be recognized by Office Max last week for their contributions to their students.



The surprise in-school ceremony was part of the office supply retailer’s campaign to eliminate teacher-funded classrooms, especially during this time of extra economic burden on school districts across the nation.



“We know that through the course of the year our teachers have great expectations and very little resources and end up spending a lot of their own money to make their classrooms good,” said Office Max of Cumming Manager Pete Braun.



According to studies conducted by the National Education Association, teachers spend nearly $1,200 out of their own pockets each year for basic classroom supplies, adding up, nationally, to about $4 billion a year.



Braun presented Lott with a bouquet of flowers and a new office chair, followed by a box filled with $1,000 worth of classroom supplies. The box of supplies included everything from paper clips, to sticky notes, in addition to a new digital camera.



Lott, who is the school’s media professional, also oversees the school’s daily news broadcast, produced by students.



“When I heard about this opportunity, I really didn’t know what would be involved,” said Black’s Mill Elementary School Principal Julia Mashburn.



Without a typical homeroom classroom, Mashburn wasn’t sure if Office Max would reject her nomination of Lott or see what is unique and different about the Black’s Mill Elementary School media center.



“This is a classroom for the whole school and I know that without Mrs. Lott’s work on the curriculum, without your foresight for technology, we couldn’t have made WBME (the school’s morning news broadcoast) become something really wonderful, not for teachers, but for you boys and girls,” Mashburn told media studies students in attendance.



“For Black’s Mill Elementary and Mrs. Lott, the media center and Dawson County to be one of the 1,000 across the country, this is an exciting event for all of us, and it couldn’t go to a more deserving person,” Mashburn said.



Lott’s husband, daughter and grandson were able to attend the awards presentation, as were the media studies students, who learn from her everyday.



“I’m really happy. I’m excited. It’s nice to be appreciated, but I don’t have to have an award like this to keep on going hard,” Lott said.



E-mail Michele Hester at