Denver teacher honored in Wal-Mart ‘Commander in Teacher’ program

DENVER -- A sixth-grade teacher got a big surprise during class Wednesday.

A Wal-Mart official stopped by Merrill Middle School to give language arts teacher Kate Hatch a $490 gift card as well as some supplies for her classroom.

Hatch's students nominated her for the company's "Commander in Teacher" program. She's one of 20 educators nationwide who won.

"It's amazing to be recognized for this; that's really really cool," Hatch said. "And it's awesome that Wal-Mart did this program because I spend a lot of money in my classroom every year."

Wal-Mart chose the amount of $490 because that's the average amount one teacher spends out of pocket in a school year.