Gifts being opened. Smiles and laughs ringing out. Thank yous being exchanged.

Stearns Education Center had a bit of a Christmas feel at times Friday afternoon.

Playing the role of Santa, in this case, was Eric Boyette, Secretary and State Chief Information Officer for the North Carolina Department of Information Technology.

Boyette and team members came to Stearns with boxes of school supplies for Polk County staff, collected as part of the Governor’s Office School Supply Distribution program.

View photos from Friday’s distribution

A dozen teachers represented the school district in receiving the supplies from Boyette, who wheeled in four large boxes of goods collected by staff members in Raleigh. District officials and Board of Education member Michael Ashworth also attended the distribution.

“Polk County Schools is very appreciative of Secretary Boyette, his staff and all the wonderful people who made the donations for districts across North Carolina,” said Polk County Schools Superintendent Aaron Greene. “Our teachers were excited to receive them, and the supplies will certainly benefit our students and teachers. On behalf of of Polk County Schools I offer our sincere thanks!”

Teachers attending the event included:

Polk County High School: Dawn Forward, Adam Dedmon
Polk County Middle School: Langlee Garrett, Eric Eaton
Polk Central Elementary: Amber Styles, Leann Wilson
Saluda Elementary: Ginger Rackley, Stephanie Uhrich
Sunny View Elementary: Monica Barber, Stephanie Blanton
Tryon Elementary: Donna Godley, Lucy Lewis