Friday, November 20, 2015

Radio Station, Credit Union Surprise a Ridgecrest Teacher

Local radio station HOT 95-7 and the Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union (GCEFU) teamed up to surprise Ridgecrest Elementary School third-grade teacher Rafael Carballo with a $500 cash award on Nov. 19.

HOT 95-7 DJ Sarah Pepper warmed up third-grade students during a library-based quiz on fun and serious facts, and then called the unsuspecting Carballo forward to quiz students on math and science with his own questions.

Mr. Carballo, who is clearly popular with students, asked about different forms of energy and simple multiplication questions.

The DJ told students that she knew a teacher who spent $50 a month on classroom supplies. The radio station and credit union team up to choose a nominated teacher each month to award classroom money.

Mr. Carballo was nominated for the award by his wife, Nancy, a BP employee who sees up close how much this five-year instructor does to make his classroom reflect both best materials and best practices.

“I know how hard all teachers work, and I live with a teacher so I really notice how much and what they do. The public often doesn’t know how much they do,” Nancy said after the cash prize was announced.

In her nomination, she noted that teachers like her husband “make sure [students] get everything they need to succeed in life. He spends money out of his pocket on a regular basis to make sure that his classroom is well equipped for students.”

Mr. Carballo is a Northrook High School graduate who went on to attend Houston Community College and later graduate with a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Houston. He is now pursuing his master’s degree in education.

He was stunned by the cash award, but recovered quickly. “I’ve never been in the spotlight before, but I’d like take all of the students on a field trip to the Children’s Museum. It’s hands-on, and they would enjoy it and learn so much,” he said.

His students cheered.

Principal Patricia Thomas spoke highly of the incredible team environment at Ridgecrest, which includes Mr. Carballo. “That [reflects] the team we have here at Ridgecrest Elementary. Mr. Carballo shares his gift with everyone because that’s what teams do and we are a team!”

Morning show radio host Sarah Pepper took the monthly education award to credit union representatives. Her brother, deceased, was a classroom teacher. “I do know [teachers] spend a lot of money on their classrooms.” The credit union gave her an immediate green light on the cash award project.

At Ridgecrest, the Nov. 19 visit by CBS Radio and Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union included a Thanksgiving theme lunch for teachers, including Rafael Carballo, with food provided by Pollo Tropical.


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