Meet the Recipient
The doctors at HLS Orthodontics developed the Smiles For Teachers program in an effort to give back to the wonderful educators in our area. We all have had teachers who inspired us to be our best selves and who gave so much of themselves to help us find our way in the world. The Smiles For Teachers program offers one of those important individuals a new smile though braces or Invisalign®.
About the Program
The program began with a 30-day application period that ran from October 1st to November 1st. In which time, educators from all over the area and from very different schools and specialties applied for the smile transformation. The response was so much more than we could have ever expected, showing such a great need in our community for a program like this. Too often, teachers use their own money to pay for their classroom needs so our children can have what is needed to learn and grow. They are often underpaid, on top of paying for materials themselves, and thus sometimes cannot afford the orthodontic treatment they need and deserve.
After the application period, we narrowed the list down to the top 24 people who were most medically eligible and opened up the decision to the public. The program went viral, as nominees’ friends and families rallied around their loved ones, sharing the voting period on social media and encouraging others to cast their vote. After a week of voting, the candidate with the most votes was Ms. Tracy Ardner, an art teacher at Arbor Hills Junior High School for grades six through eight. In Ms. Ardner’s application, she stated, “By teaching Art, I am able share my passion and help students learn to appreciate the beauty around us, to grow not only as students but as members of the community, while building relationships and celebrating successes and discoveries.”
Our team surprised Ms. Ardner with the news in her classroom, alongside her supportive students and coworkers, and with the help of NBC 20. Ms. Ardner’s drive for education and empowering local youth makes her an incredible first final recipient for our Smiles For Teachers program. We are thrilled to be able to give her the smile she has always dreamed of and make her more confident and happy to give to future generations for years to come.
Be sure to stay up to date on Ms. Tracy Ardner’s smile transformation and to hear about upcoming Smiles For Teachers application periods by following our Facebook page.