This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CLEVELAND – In the classroom there is always a lesson to learn but it’s how a Cleveland teacher is educating students outside the classroom that helped earn her a major surprise.

You could say Helena Mitchell, 24, is pulling extra credit. After graduating from Bowling Green State University she kept the job she has held for five years at the Giant Eagle store in Mayfield Heights, dreaming of one day helping future students with the extra cash.

The Horizon Science Academy first year teacher’s hard work did not go unnoticed, thanks to a curious shopper touched by Mitchell’s story.

“While we were bagging my groceries she told me how she was a full-time teacher and that she had kept her part-time job at Giant Eagle so she could help provide for her students,” explained Erin Sipos.

Sipos, moved by Mitchell’s generosity, decided to act, requesting her family and friends donate gift cards to the store. Mayfield Heights Police also got wind of the idea and they donated too, bringing the grand total to a pallet of food, school supplies and more than $500 dollars in gift cards.

The gifts were presented to an unsuspecting Mitchell during the school staff holiday party Mondaay. The first thing she thought to do was brainstorm how to spread donations to students other than her own.

“I don’t even know where to start out, I mean they are obviously going to go to the kids. But how to start distributing this I have no idea. I mean it won’t be just for my classes I want all the teachers to use it,” said Mitchell.