Three CMS Teachers Surprised As Finalist To Win New Car For Circle K’s ‘A Driving Force For Education’ Program

WCCB's Morgan Fogarty will announce the winner at Speed Street Saturday evening around 9pm

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Teachers are an unforgettable, driving force in the futures of young people, so during this year’s Teacher Appreciation Week, Circle K and Coca-Cola Consolidated surprised three Charlotte Mecklenburg School District (CMS) high school teachers in their classroom to announce their nomination as a top finalist in Circle K’s “A Driving Force in Education” contest.

Watch as all three teachers were surprised with new cars at Speed Street.

WCCB’s Morgan Fogarty will announce the winner this Saturday at Speed Street around 9pm.  The winner will receive a brand new car.

“Circle K is an international company that believes wholeheartedly in the local communities and people we serve,” said Misti Mason, senior marketing manager at Circle K Southeast. “We are in awe of people like our Charlotte area teachers who give to our students and our communities; this contest is really about honoring them and their personal commitments and acts of service to our kids.”

Up until April 30, 2019, students and parents within the Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools district could nominate a deserving high school teacher for a chance to win a new 2019 Toyota Camry.

Nominations were submitted via Circle K’s free app. After hundreds of nominations, three teacher finalists were selected based on quality and thoughtful nomination.

The three finalist teachers include:
● Lillian Allemond, Theatre Arts, Hopewell High School
● Victoria Berke, Special Education, Ardrey Kell High School
● Natalie Harrell, Culinary Arts, South Mecklenburg High School

Students and representatives from Circle K and Coca-Cola Consolidated surprised each teacher in their respective classroom during Teacher Appreciation Week with the news of their top-three selection. After the announcement, students and parents read their submissions to their teachers. Comments included (but were not limited to): “We feel she is a winner of our child’s heart and that’s why we are nominating her;” “She is an inspiration to all of us and pushes us to be better versions of ourselves. She has never shut down our creativity;”; “She’s always looking out for us and taking care of us as if we were her own. She treats us as family.”

On Saturday, May 25 at 8:30 p.m., Allemond, Berke, and Harrell will attend Circle K Speed Street presented by Coca-Cola in Romare Bearden Park in uptown Charlotte. The winning teacher will be announced on stage by WCCB’s Morgan Fogarty prior to STYX and presented with keys to her new Toyota Camry. It’s a standout moment to conclude a Charlotte tradition which draws 300,000 people to Uptown Charlotte and celebrates a milestone this year.

“The 600 Festival has been creating unforgettable experiences and giving back to the Charlotte community for 25 years,” said Jacqueline Gafrarar, executive director of the 600 Festival. “It is a true honor to close out the celebration by recognizing teachers, the backbone of this Charlotte community and the students and parents who believe in them.”

The two remaining finalists will receive free Circle K gas for a year. Through Coca-Cola Consolidated’s Big Hearts mini cans program, the top 20 semi-finalist teachers will each receive $500 to refresh their classrooms, an invitation to the Coca-Cola 600 VIP party, and tickets to the Coca-Cola 600. “Charlotte teachers inspire and support our children every day without question, and they give so much of themselves to do that,” said Christi McGee, vice president of community advocacy at Coca-Cola Consolidated. “As Charlotte’s local bottler, Coca-Cola Consolidated is honored to support our teachers because we truly see them as heroes for our community. We like to say our mini cans might be small, but our hearts for our teachers are enormous.”