One Class at a Time


Teacher at Sandstone Elementary receives a very special "Once Class at a Time" surprise

Posted at 4:59 AM, Mar 22, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-22 08:05:55-04

Q2, Western Security Bank, City Brew Coffee, and the Education Foundation for Billings Public Schools have teamed up for "One Class at a Time." The program recognizes teachers who go above and beyond to help their students.

Meet Hannah McGarrah, a second-grade teacher at Sandstone Elementary School whose positive attitude is infectious and who was on the receiving end of a big surprise recently. Working with her principal, her brother who happens to be the Western Security Bank representative for the One Class at a Time program, and others we dropped in on Mrs. McGarrah to announce her award.

"Mrs. McGarrah, I have some people here that need to see you," Principal Travis Lassle said as he entered the classroom first, followed by Q2 Meteorologist Miller Robson.

"Hello, this may not be the right class," Miller said. "Have I ever been here before? I'm a bit confused. I do weather schools all around the area but I'm not sure about here. I'm here for a reason but I'm confused. You're Hannah, right? I'm confused. Hey, can somebody come in here and help me please?"

That's when her brother Jonah Fritchl walked in.

"You guys, this is my brother! Oh my gosh. I don't do surprises," Mrs. McGarrah told her students while laughing.

Miller then spilled the beans to the entire class.

"We are so excited about this one. Let me introduce myself. My name is Miller Robson with Q2 and I've got some wonderful people I'm going to introduce you to. We do a thing called One Class at a Time where we honor area teachers who go above and beyond to help other students and you are our latest award winner. I think somebody very special in your life has something very special he wants to present you."

"I usually say, 'My name is Jonah and I'm with Western Security Bank,' but you already know all that. On behalf of the bank, the Education Foundation and City Brew, we love honoring teachers and I especially know you and you're fantastic and you're one of the reasons I know, when I give this award, I have context and a reason to know exactly what they do and what they go through and why this money is so helpful and well deserved. So Hannah here is $500 to use in your classroom however you see fit."

Mrs. McGarrah was almost speechless.

"Thank you! Thank you, guys," she said. "This is a huge honor. I'm shaking. I don't know what to say.

Miller then introduced Kate Guerrero from City Brew Coffee who presented Mrs. McGarrah with a $150 gift certificate.

"Oh my gosh! They know how much I love coffee. I want to give you a hug," Mrs. McGarrah said.

Miller then explained why Mrs. McGarrah was chosen for this week's honor.

"As I'm sure you can tell by now, Hannah has a very bubbly personality and that has a huge impact on her students," he said.

Mrs. McGarrah explained her approach to teaching her students this way:

"They all have their own stuff that's going on at home and in their personal lives," she said. "They get to spend six hours a day with me here at school and I want it to be fun and engaging and happy and positive and if I can just make them feel loved and cared for and help them learn throughout the whole day and the whole week then I've done my job."

Congratulations, Hannah, on winning the "One Class at a Time" award. Very well deserved.

If you would like your teacher to be the next recipient, make a nomination HERE.