Matteson Elementary School District 162 Teacher Honored Among 1,000 Teachers Nationwide by OfficeMax on ‘A Day Made Better’

Keisha Houston and students
Kisha Houston is congratulated on being named among 1,000 teachers nationwide by OfficeMax’s “A Day Made Better,” program, by her third grade students at the Matteson Elementary School. (Photo: Jeraldine Harris).

MATTESON, IL –(ENEWSPF)–October 4, 2001—“Oh my, it’s Christmas in October,” exclaimed Kisha Houston, a third grade teacher at the Matteson Elementary School today.  

As she walked into her classroom, Houston was totally surprised by an OfficeMax team who helped her unwrap a large package of classroom supplies and resources valued at $1,000 in recognition of her dedication and service to her classroom. 

Houston was one of 1,000 teachers honored today with surprise visits as part of OfficeMax Incorporated’s national program to donate $ 1 million in classroom supplies to teachers for its fifth annual “A Day Made Better,” program.   

Houston was surprised by the delegation which also included: Matteson District 162 Superintendent Dr. Blondean Davis; Pamela Powell, Matteson School principal; Rick Reinbold, president of Richton Park where Houston resides with her husband, Don who also attended; her mother, Jeraldine Harris, and her daughter, Jaryn, a second grade student at Matteson School.  

As she looked around her classroom, her 17-member third grade students cheered loudly. Houston said, “What a wonderful surprise, but this isn’t about me, these gifts will help instruct these great kids, who are the reason I’ve taught here at Matteson School for 16 years. As a school-wide announcement was heard on the PA system, her fellow teachers dropped in with hugs and congratulations.  

 “Kisha Houston is a strong believer that all children can learn,” said Powell, who nominated Houston for the honor.   

“Criteria for this award called for principals across the country to nominate teachers who ‘exemplify passion, dedication and motivation in their classroom’ and that would be Kisha Houston,” added Powell.  

Ms. Houston has an undergraduate degree from Illinois State University and a master’s degree in education from Governor’s State University.  

She currently is studying in a professional development program for teaching gifted students.  

Ms. Houston and her husband, Don, reside in Richton Park with Jaryn and their two other children: Jaden, a gifted student enrolled in 4th grade at Sauk School and Jorian, in preschool at Richton Square School. The family was also warmly greeted by Reinbold, Richton Park Village president.   

According to Dee Smith, assistant manager of the OfficeMax store in Matteson, “because many teachers spend approximately $1,000 out of their own pockets each year to offset school budget shortfalls and ensure that their students have the necessary classroom resources for learning, OfficeMax’s A Day Made Better program, in partnership with Adopt-A-Classroom, aims to help end the need for teacher-funded classrooms.” 

Smith also surprised Principal Powell with a large gift box of school supplies and resources including digital cameras for the whole Matteson School faculty. She explained that voluntary contributions at the checkout counter were made this summer by Matteson OfficeMax’s retail customers.  

Matteson Elementary School is one of seven elementary schools in Matteson District 162. It has 447 students who are enrolled in kindergarten through third grade.  

Since 2007, OfficeMax’s “A Day Made Better” and its nonprofit partner, Adopt-A-Classroom, have funded more than 4,500 classrooms with more than $4.5 million in grants and school supplies and helped secure funding for more than 66,000 classrooms annually through donations to Adopt-A-Classroom.  

More details are at or adopt a teacher at

Keisha Houston, Rick Reinbold and Blondean Davis
Kisha Houston, Matteson Elementary School 3rd grade teacher, ( center) is congratulated by Rick Reinbold, President, Village of Richton Park and Dr. Blondean Davis, Superintendent, Matteson Elementary District 162. (Photo by Jeraldine Harris).