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August 30, 2021

RNR Tire Express Surprises Bradenton Teacher Battling Cancer With School Supplies for Classroom

Going back to school comes with an array of emotions, but there is one teacher in Bradenton who was expressing tears of joy this week.

Manatee Elementary School teacher, Jessica Nunemaker, literally had to be pushed into the conference room as her fellow teachers and staff gave her the warmest back-to-school welcome you can receive on Monday.

“I was very surprised and when they were telling me to come in I didn’t want to come in,” said Nunemaker.

“We believe that teachers are the backbone of our youth and we are honored to honor you today so congratulations you’re our big winner,” said Will Jackson of RNR Tire Express.

The company provided Nunemaker with $1,000 in school supplies, including everything from snacks, to notebooks, pens and pencils, to even a unicorn bean bag chair.

“I don’t know I might use that for myself though,” joked Jessica.

RNR Tire Express received hundreds of nominations for teachers across the state who have gone above and beyond, but Jessica’s story stood out the most.

“So currently as you can tell I’m going through chemo, after chemo I will have a double mastectomy, followed by radiation,” said Nunemaker as she looked ahead to anything but a routine school year.

“Nothing is slowing her down, nothing is stopping her, she is excited for the year, excited for the school kids, and we thought we could make it just a little bit better,” said Jackson.

School principal Lourdes Gonzalez said Jessica has been an inspiration to everyone who walks through their doors.

“Jessica has been committed and dedicated to Manatee Elementary and despite everything that she is going through, her own personal battle with cancer, she has not missed a day,” said Gonzalez.

Nunemaker, who is a reading interventionist, couldn’t imagine not being here for her students the first day of school

“It’s easier to come to school and come to work and keep your mind off of certain things because these kids need it just as much as I do, if not more, so it keeps me smiling,” said Nunemaker.

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