EL MIRAGE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- An El Mirage teacher is empowering girls and changing lives with her positive spirit and big, bold, loving personality. When tragedy struck, one of her students knew she had to help the teacher who has helped her so much.
"Mrs. Kutcherman has just been there for her in a lot of ways," said Louann describing her daughter Promiss’ teacher. "She’s been there whenever Promiss needed anything or anybody."
"Her son got in a car accident and she didn’t want to go to her job. She just wanted to stay with her son, so I felt really bad for her in a way," said Promiss. "I wanted to do something for her. She’s really inspirational."
“I’m so excited! This is my first Surprise Squad!” said Arizona’s Family’s Yetta Gibson. “So, what we’ve done is we’ve set up a fake meeting inside this room. Teachers are going to be in there as well as Promiss’ teacher. We’re going to sneak in here in just a second. I believe the teacher is sitting down right now.”
A hidden camera captured the fun when Gibson led Promiss and the Surprise Squad into the room and ambushed Mrs. Kutcherman.
“Oh, what? What is this?” said Kutcherman when the crowd and their cameras walked in from two different doors. “No! Come on!”
Everyone in the room erupted into laughter.
“Mrs. K?” said Gibson.
“Yes!” said Kutcherman.
“Hi!” laughed Gibson.
“I know you!” laughed Kutcherman.
“I know a lot about you.” said Gibson.
“Oh, my gosh!” said Kutcherman.
“I’m Yetta Gibson with Arizona’s Family,” said Gibson leaning down into the hidden camera’s lens. “I’m sorry to interrupt your fake meeting,”
The crowd broke out in more laughter.
“We’re here with Surprise Squad,” said Gibson. “I know Promiss is here because she wrote to us nominating you. She told us how much you’ve done for her, not only in the classroom but just emotionally, in helping her have confidence in everything that you’ve done for her. She really appreciated it.”
“Promiss, you know that you’re special,” said Kutcherman. “You’re like a butterfly that’s starting to develop. We’ve watched you completely transform from the kid that you were last year, when you seemed really withdrawn,” said Kutcherman, pausing as she started to cry.
“Where you seemed distant and so broken,” continued Kutcherman. “And we watched you just grow into such a beautiful flower. And it’s going to inspire others to hope and to dream and to persevere and to be themselves.”
“Thank you for everything you have done for me over the years,” said Promiss.
Student and teacher took a moment to hug and cry together.
“You know you’re worth it,” said Kutcherman. “You are. Thank you. She’s such a sweetheart.”
“When you came back from being off for a couple of -how long was it?” asked Gibson.
“About three days,” said Kutcherman.
“Three days,” said Gibson.
“It was hard though,” said Kutcherman.
“You came, and you talked to the class,” said Gibson. “What did you tell them?”
“My son was driving about four in the morning,” said Kutcherman. “He was driving to the gym, another driver ran the red light and t-boned him and totaled the car, broke his neck. He’s in rehabilitation now so learning how to walk and how to feed himself and going through occupational therapy. And so, we know that physically he’s going to be okay. He still has his ups and downs. It changed all of our lives and it’s totally giving all of us a different perspective.”
“How horrible are those medical bills?” asked Gibson.
“We’re really concerned,” said Kutcherman. “It’s going to be overwhelming. He shared with my husband that he was really nervous because the other driver’s medical insurance is not going to cover those bills.”
“I know, at the end of the day, as long as you have your son, who cares about the bills, right?” said Gibson. “But on behalf of Arizona’s Family and Valley Toyota Dealers, we do want to give you a little something.”
Mrs. Kutcherman started to cry as she took the box Gibson handed her. When she opened it, her tears turned to laughter and she turned the box around to show the group the contents: three thousand dollars for medical expenses!
“Thank you and Promiss, oh, my gosh, this is priceless,” said Kutcherman. Then she imparted some of the wisdom she has been using to shape and inspire the young lives put in her care. “Life is just life. It doesn’t ask for permission. It doesn’t ask you if you’re ready. It doesn’t care. It just happens. And the only thing that we can control is how we respond to it.”
Thank you to the Dysart School District and the staff at El Mirage Elementary School for help coordinating this surprise.
Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad is sponsored by your Valley Toyota Dealers.