Celebrity gifts Mars Hill science teacher, students new supplies

Published: Oct. 12, 2018 at 8:45 AM EDT
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Whitney Williams would have never imagined that a Friday night scroll through Instagram would make her classroom dreams come true. But that's what happened. While looking at her feed, she came across celebrity Kristen Bell's page. Bell put a call out to all teachers, asking them to send her a message and their Amazon wish list link, and she would then choose ten teachers to feature on her page and ask all of her followers to help purchase the supplies they need. So, she sent a message.

"Within a few minutes, Kristen actually contacted me back and said 'Great, I can't wait to feature you, talk soon.' I of course was like over the moon," said Williams.

Three days later, she was on Bell's Instagram as her featured teacher of the day. 7.8 million followers could learn about Williams who teaches 7th and 8th grade science at Central Aroostook Junior High School...and then help purchase all of the items on her wish list. Boxes upon boxes showed up at her doorstep from all around the world.

"It was almost overwhelming, it took us four different trips to transport all my stuff from my house to the school," she said.

Even more unexpected - were the encouraging notes that came too.

"One really got me, it was a person who said I first fell in love with science in middle school and I'm a doctor now, and that's when it really hit me like, what I do matters. And that's huge for a teacher, sometimes we lose sight of that," she said.

Williams put some of her new materials on display for her students to check out when they returned from harvest break.

"Some of the newer electric stuff is more accurate and easy to use, and it's more fun when you can do more stuff and it doesn't take so long to get set up and everything," said 8th grader Frankie Pierce.

And it's that extra enthusiasm that's what this is all about.

"This is not a Whitney Williams win. It's not like as much as I love science I'm not going to take graduated cylinders home with me at night. This is a Central Aroostook win. This is a Mars Hill win. This is a win for our students. I'm just glad I could be part of that that our students could see that we are worth it, we are worth fighting for and I'm just incredibly happy for my kids," said Williams.

There's no telling what a big boost like this can do for these young minds.