Teachers in the Unit 9 School District got a surprise Monday.

Each teacher in the district received a $100 gift card from the Brave Warriors Foundation to help with expenses related to the needs of their students.

Seventy-four gift cards were presented Monday. Teachers, guidance staff, special education teachers and the district librarian each received one.

Teacher Casie Hanson was proud to be able to help out the teachers.

She said to the staff Monday morning as she distributed the gift cards, “For those of you that are new to the district, my name is Casie Hanson. I am one of the English teachers here at WCHS.

“I also run a nonprofit group named ‘Brave Warriors Foundation’ in honor of my late husband, Brent McTaggart. Brent was the art teacher for Unit 9 and a high school football coach before he passed.

“The foundation raises money to help with the basic and educational needs of our U9 students. The board consists of my brother, Darren Seefeldt, my sister, Calley Kaeb, My brothers-in-law, Todd and Kirk McTaggart, sister-in-law, Christine McTaggart, my niece Katie McTaggart and Aaron Hilgendorf. As a board, we knew we wanted a way to touch the lives of every U9 student. We decided the best way to do that, is through our teachers.

“Teachers see the needs first hand every day. They see the students that need shoes or came without supplies. Teachers know the needs”

She told the teachers that the money should be spent on items that students will use in the classrooms. “We hope this will make a difference in your year and the lives of your students,” she said.

The teachers were very appreciative of the gift.

“The Brave Warrior Foundation has worked so hard to support the various needs of our students over the last five years. Today, our teachers were blessed with $100 gift cards from the BWF to spend on our students’ classroom needs,” said Glenn Raymond School teacher Amy Curry.

“This is a phenomenal gift that will really help each teacher purchase supplies to impact student learning. I worked with Brent at GRS for several years and he was always so generous and kind to everyone he met. He would do anything for anyone and he would be so proud of how Casie and the kids have created the Brave Warrior Foundation to continue that mission. The generosity they have bestowed on Unit 9 students not only continues Brent’s legacy, but has made such a positive impact on our community. Thank you to the Brave Warrior Foundation and Casie, Kennedy, Drew, and Addi for all you do for others.”

WCHS teacher Claire Henneike said, “Receiving a $100 gift card from BWF on the first day of school was an unexpected surprise. Teachers work so hard to try and get their classrooms together before the beginning of the school year, often using their own money. This gift can help teachers finish off a classroom look they are going for, obtain needed supplies, and even buy extra materials for students to have.”

Brave Warriors Foundation provides for expenses related to the basic or education needs of students at the request of teachers or administrators, Hanson said.

“For example, donating to drama and art departments for classroom supplies, purchasing shoes or clothing for students, providing classroom books and many needs that go unseen or heard about because we want to protect the privacy of students.

“I took a year off last year from fundraising just because I needed a break. Our race was always around the anniversary of Brent’s death and I just needed the time emotionally. I’m excited for the fundraising ideas we have for the future. Anyone that wants to donate to Brave Warriors Foundation can do so by Paypal to bravewarriorsfoundation@gmail.com or by getting in touch with me via email. We hope to continue providing for our Unit 9 students for many years to come.”