Christmas came a few months early for Larry Cardoso.
At least it seemed that way when the Sequoia School gym teacher received the Office Max “A Day Made Better” prizes on Tuesday.
“I was surprise (about my selection),” said Cardoso, who received several of large boxes of school supplies made possible by Office Max in partners with AdoptAClassroom.org.
Aaron Guzman, store manager of the Manteca store, announced this year’s local teacher in front of the seventh- and eighth- grade students. They roundly applauded the selection of Cardoso.
“He’s an egg-shell breaker extraordinaire,” said Guzman, who recognized the many of qualities of Cardoso, who was one of 1,000 teachers picked nationwide on “A Day Make Better.”
Guzman, who was joined by his Office Max associates Jordan Holbrook and Chris Just, was initially thought to be at Sequoia’s old cafeteria to support the annual walk / jog-a-thon fundraiser.
“We had an ulterior motive to be here,” he said.
An anonymous person tipped Office Max about Cardoso a few months earlier during back-to-school shopping.
Office Max, for the sixth straight year, put together a surprise package with $1,000 worth of classroom resources and supplies, including a new desk chair. Donations from the community accounted for another $3,200 worth of school supplies.
Only Principal Lisa Herrin and office manager Lisa Sotelo were made aware of Cardoso’s selection. “We had to keep it a secret from everybody (until the announcement),” Herrin said.
More than 90 percent of teachers spend their own money on basic school supplies for their students, according to a recent survey.
“They’re spending $1,000 out of their own pocket,” said Guzman.
Office Max Inc. does its part to give back, donating $1.9 million in school supplies for the “A Day Made Better” program.
Meanwhile, Cardoso was thrilled with the boxes of school supplies.
“I was excited about getting a lot of the little stuff,” he said. “We needed paper.
“We got plenty computer paper and notebooks – that’ll make the people in our front office happy.”