Amanda Eaton and husband with Ellen Kim, Diana Rodriguez and Wells Fargo check
Amanda Eaton and husband with Ellen Kim, Diana Rodriguez and Wells Fargo check
Volunteering & Giving
May 30, 2014

‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ gift surprises teacher

New Hampshire first-grade teacher Amanda Eaton was surprised with a gift from Wells Fargo in an appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” May 29.

Meet Amanda Eaton, a New Hampshire Teacher of the Year semi-finalist, who is known in her community as both “the greatest teacher in the world” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show’s biggest fan.”

Amanda Eaton and husband with Ellen Kim, Diana Rodriguez and Wells Fargo check

In the past year she has spent more than $2,000 out of her own pocket on classroom supplies. She has also made a habit of taking the disadvantaged students in her class out to lunch or on mini-vacations.

One time in particular, Amanda had taken a former student of hers to Chuck E Cheese to catch up, and noticed that she wasn’t touching her food. After a few questions, Amanda discovered that her student wasn’t eating the food because she wanted to bring it home for her family. When Amanda realized this, she ordered enough for the whole family, so that her student could go home with leftovers no matter how much she ate.

This kind of generous behavior is no surprise coming from Amanda, who is also just finishing recovery from donating a kidney to save her father’s life.

“I love what I do,” she explained, “I love being a role model to all these children, and giving my dad the kidney. I just want to be the person that they can say, well Mrs. Eaton did it.”

In small actions like these Amanda has a huge impact on her classroom and her community.

In her first grade class, Amanda practices a radical concept: Instead of calling parents when students act up, she calls when they do well. We want to follow her lead.

That is why with the help of Wells Fargo, “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” decided to surprise her with a $50,000 check and $5,000 in cash, so she can continue to help her students, school, and community.

When we asked her what the money meant to her, she replied, “it’s the little things, it’s the highlighters and the new books, and my parents really need a new roof, and I’ll give them a roof.” In September, Amanda did just that, buying new books, chairs, bulletin boards, bins and so much more for her classroom. She also got a new puppy, Laila! Her dad continues to feel better and better. Amanda is really making her dreams become a reality.