KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A teacher at Gladstone Elementary School in Kansas City received a life-changing surprise on Tuesday morning.
“It’s the best thing I’ve heard like ever. I’m so, so stoked,” fourth grade math teacher Mollie Hiller said.
She’s the fifth teacher to win a 2-year apartment lease from the partnership between the Kansas City Power & Light District and Kansas City Public Schools Education Foundation.
Hiller will be able to live rent-free at the new Three Light apartment tower.
“I know all the hard work that goes into being a teacher, and I know that it’s not just about teaching academics,” KCP&L President John Moncke said. “It’s about teaching kids how to be good people. And so, anything we can do to just show our support for teachers, we’re all about that.”
Hiller moved to Kansas City right before COVID-19 pandemic to start her teaching career and said not having to pay rent will help her achieve another major accomplishment.
“I’ve been thinking about hopefully working toward getting a master’s degree soon, and the thought of being able to live rent-free and not have the burden of that is like just amazing,” Hiller said, “to even think about moving forward as some next steps.”
Gladstone Elementary Principal Dana Carter said Hiller comes to work early and stays late every day and got emotional talking about the impact this will have.
“Being a teacher right now is so hard,” Carter said. “And for her to have this gift where she could perhaps pay off student loans, or get a new car if she needs one, or she could save up this money — it’s life-changing for a young educator, and so I was so happy for her.”
The Three Light luxury apartments opened in September, and Hiller can move in whenever she’s ready.