Two Tampa Teachers Honored for Inspiring Others to Shine
Sulphur Springs Community K-8 and Northside Christian Classrooms Benefit
TUCSON, Ariz. – Miss Nicolette Barone, a first-year, first grade teacher at Sulphur Springs Community K-8 School, and Ben Horne, a 9th-10th Grade Bible Teacher at Northside Christian School, both in Tampa, Fla., each received a top honor in May when they were recognized as two of ten teachers in the U.S. for inspiring others to shine. The honor came when Mister Car Wash selected Barone and Horne after they were nominated for its Inspiring Futures – Teacher Appreciation program. As two of only 10 grand prize winners, Barone and Horne were each awarded a $500 grant for their classroom plus a complimentary annual Unlimited Wash Club® pass. Barone said she plans to utilize her grant to purchase her future students clothes, shoes and supplies. She also wants to purchase an artificial tree to create a “trouble tree” in her class where her students can hang up their troubles and let go. Horne said he plans to apply his grant to providing a comfortable seating arrangement and learning environment for his students.
In the words of Barone’s nominator: “I have known Miss Barone since we were in college. She took on a teaching job in a high poverty area. She dedicates so much time to her classroom helping her students and giving them experiences they may not have due to their SES status. She has come up with raps and different strategies to help them read. She lights up when they move up a reading level and always tries to reward them in some way. She has bought so many things in her classroom out of pocket and she would buy more if she was able to afford it. Miss Barone decided to become the basketball team mom, the school mascot, and the soccer coach to be more involved. She volunteers at Layla’s House (at the Sulphur Springs YMCA), where the students hang out, to spend more time with her students. I have never seen or met a teacher who thrives so much off their students’ success. They have become her family and knowing they are going to second grade makes her so proud. She would do anything for her students and I think someone needs to recognize her and all her hard work.”
This was Nicolette Barone’s first year teaching first grade at Sulphur Springs School. She originally thought she wanted to be a doctor or a nurse to save lives. Everyone in her life knew she was going be a teacher except for her. When Miss Barone took her first teaching class she fell in love and she later realized that by teaching she was in fact saving lives. Miss Barone loves being with her students and creating a family atmosphere with her class. She enjoys watching her students grow and mature throughout the school year. Miss Barone builds her students up by constantly telling them “You are strong. You are powerful, you are smart.” When Miss Barone isn’t in the classroom, she is busy boxing, writing, swimming, dancing and reading.
Horne’s nominator had this to say: “Mr. Horne is constantly telling his students, myself included, that your character is the only thing that defines who you are as a individual. He says that it doesn’t matter how good looking you are or who you pretend to be. The only thing that matters is how you act when no one else is around, this defines your character. Mr. Horne believes that people who grow up as bullies just become bigger, unsatisfied bullies as adults, and that people who grow up being pure of heart, just grow stronger and kinder in the face of adversity. Mr. Horne is also always giving his students a chance to shine and say what they want to say in front of the whole class. He is one of the best teachers I have ever had because he has inspired me to accept who I am and that I shouldn’t let anyone judge me on anything but my character or treat me like I am worth anything less than they are. Mr. Horne is deserving of this award for being such a good role model, teacher, and person because he cares enough to really teach, supports his students, offers life advice, and sees people for who they truly are, not what they appear to be. Plus,” the student added, “he has a true passion for cars and this would mean a lot to him.”
Ben Horne has been teaching for 18 years. He was inspired to be a teacher when he went to college and had several knowledgeable and personable professors who always took the time to talk and interact with him and his classmates. After having such impactful college professors, Mr. Horne realized that he had the desire to make the same impact on someone else. Mr. Horne enjoys interacting with his students on both an academic and personal level. He is humbled and excited about the opportunity to help shape and influence a generation of students. He appreciates the moments that he can be there for his students by offering them encouragement, or just listening. Mr. Horne encourages his students to grow by telling them “If you want to do adult things, then you need to accept adult responsibility.” When Mr. Horne isn’t in the classroom, he is watching baseball games. He also enjoys running with his wife and hanging out with his family. His family enjoys traveling to new places, as they have been on many service trips throughout the world supporting numerous groups.
Clearly, these teachers are doing exactly the kind of exemplary job Mister Car Wash wanted to highlight through its Inspiring Futures – Teacher Appreciation campaign.
Selecting only ten grand prize recipients was no easy task for Mister Car Wash, according to Ciera Lopez, community relations specialist. Lopez said the Tucson-based company received more than 1,000 nominations nationwide during a one-month nominating period. The company awarded prizes worth a total of $32,000 as a token of appreciation for teachers like Miss Barone and Mr. Horne, who are making a real and lasting impact in their communities. This is the second consecutive year that Mister Car Wash has recognized outstanding teachers in their communities. The next opportunity to nominate a teacher for this award will come around next April.
“Recognizing and celebrating exemplary teachers is by far one of the most gratifying things a CEO gets to do,” said CEO John Lai. “Hopefully every adult can look back on their childhood and point to a teacher who really made a difference in their life. That’s why it’s truly a privilege to help our customers recognize these community leaders who are playing such significant roles in young people’s lives. Not only are they educating our future leaders, they are role models for us all to draw inspiration.”
No doubt, a great many students will be thanking these outstanding teachers for the rest of their lives for helping them to shine. Bravo, Miss Barone and Mr. Horne. Stand up and take a bow.
About Inspiring Futures
At Mister Car Wash we are committed to investing in the communities we serve. As a people first company we provide extensive training and development programs to our employees to set them up for success. This priority has also translated to the causes we support beyond the car wash through our Inspiring Futures program. Inspiring Futures is an investment into our communities’ classrooms by awarding grants to local schools and giving generously through our sponsorship, donation, and fundraising programs. In addition, we support our employees who are passionate about improving their knowledge and furthering their education by giving them the tools to shine, providing school supply kits and awarding tuition scholarships annually.
About Mister Car Wash
Headquartered in Tucson, Arizona, Mister Car Wash operates 229 car washes and 34 express lubes in 21 states. The Mister Car Wash brand is anchored in quality, friendliness and our commitment to creating memorable customer experiences. People are what make us successful and allow us to achieve high operational standards with unparalleled customer service. Through our commitment to excellence, we continue to recruit and retain top talent, develop best-in-class training programs and invest in employee benefits that cultivate a positive company culture. The Mister Car Wash experience is about inspiring potential and giving both our employees and customers the motivation to be their best. To learn more, please visit us in our stores or online at www.mistercarwash.com.