High School teacher receives $1,000 award for school supplies

Coolidge High School art and technology teacher Christi Jones holds the $1,000 check she received to purchase school supplies.

COOLIDGE — Coolidge High School art and technology teacher Christi Jones was surprised Aug. 23 when she received a $1,000 grant to fill her classroom with much-needed school supplies from Four Peaks Brewing Co.

Jones did not know it at the time, but a few friends had nominated her for the classroom funds.

“It was a surprise. No one told me. I was surprised and excited for my students,” she said. “It’s nice to have these funds instead of using my own funds.”

She reiterated that when buying school supplies through the district, prior authorization must be obtained, so it’s common for teachers to spend their own money on supplies.

“I have been spending my money to buy supplies for glass fusing and various tools,” she said. “We use a lot of specialty tools for art, and those are expensive.”

She said supplemental supplies are sometimes difficult to buy through a purchase order from the district and it is easier for an individual just to purchase these items.

“There are limits to what the school can provide,” she said.

Jones was hand-selected from thousands of nominees to receive this grant for her exceptional dedication to her students.

This grant is part of Four Peaks’ 11th annual Four Peaks for Teachers campaign that kicked off in May, raising funds to distribute school supply kits to 10,000 teachers across Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Utah.

A new element to the campaign this year is the school supply grants. Four Peaks rewarded 11 deserving teachers nationwide with $1,000 grants who have been nominated and hand-selected for the impact they’ve made on past and present students.

Grant nominations were open to the public nationwide from May 4 through July 15.

Four Peaks provided four reasons why Jones was selected as one of the 11 who received the $1,000 school supply grant: She consistently puts in both additional hours and her own money to ensure that her students have a well-rounded curriculum and goes above and beyond by frequently organizing contests, prizes and opportunities for others to donate to her students. Throughout the pandemic, Jones probably spent more time than ever making sure the online curriculum for her students was engaging; she truly cares about each of her students; and she collected donations and personally purchased items to provide art kits to her students to assist them during remote learning.

“I am grateful for (the award),” she said.