Centsible Saver

Two Raleigh teachers win school supplies

Over the summer, when those enticing nickel and 10-cent school supply deals beckoned shoppers into stores, I wrote a column asking readers to consider buying extras to donate to nearby schools.

I promised to do the same and asked you to nominate outstanding Triangle public schoolteachers to be the recipients of my bargain shopping.

Thanks to coupons, rebates and sales, I amassed four boxes full of everything from glue sticks and copy paper to tissues and mechanical pencils. I don’t think I paid more than a quarter or 50 cents for any one item and many I got free, walking out of the store paying only the tax.

Last week, I delivered those supplies to two Raleigh-area teachers who were among the several dozen nominated by readers -- Christine Rechenberg, who teaches fifth-grade at Wildwood Forest Elementary school, and Erin Pike, a science teacher at Sanderson High School.

Who knew spiral notebooks and boxes of facial tissue could result in such enthusiasm?

Though a 16-year teaching veteran, Rechenberg, 44, returned to the classroom this year much like a rookie. The tornadoes that hit Raleigh in 2011 destroyed her home. “We lost everything,” Rechenberg said, including her elementary-level books, teaching aides and school supplies that were being stored in her garage while she taught middle school that year.

Pike, 28, was nominated by Sanderson colleague Caroline Vernia, who described Pike as a “compassionate teacher who is constantly looking for ways to infuse her classroom with creativity, energy and enthusiasm.”

“This is like Christmas,” said Pike, who teaches biology and forensic science. “Tissues are my favorite school supply.”