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Teacher Who Also Works as Server Stunned by Generous Tip From Grateful Parents

By Tiffany Meier

A teacher, who also works as a server in New Jersey, was left speechless when she found a $100 tip left by a couple along with a touching note.

Catherine Acampora-Nielsen, a special education teacher in the Lakewood School District of New Jersey and server at Woolley’s Seafood Market in Freehold according to New Jersey 101.5, posted a photo of the receipt—a $70.96 dinner bill which featured a $100 tip—on Facebook to express her gratitude to the generous couple.

Aside from the tip of 140 percent, the couple also left a handwritten note: “Thank you for teaching our kids—teachers shouldn’t have to work weekends!”

“To the couple that came into Woolley’s today and left this for me, I can’t thank you enough,” Acampora-Nielsen wrote on the social media site. “[I’m] lucky there are people out there who appreciate hard workers—hope you two enjoyed your day away from the kids.”

A local Facebook page also shared her post, hoping the couple behind the note see it.

“We truly have amazing people who live in and around Howell and yes, our teachers are so important,” Howell Happenings NJ Facebook page wrote in the caption. “We hope this note gets back to this couple and let’s them know how much of an impact they made in this person’s life and a huge thank you for making a difference.”

Several people took to the comments to thank the kindness of the couple.

“Wow, that was amazing,” one person commented.

“Glad teachers are appreciated by some ppl instead of saying you guys are off holidays & the summer. That is far from the truth.”

“Awesome! Teachers don’t get the recognition they deserve,” another wrote. “That made my day almost as much as it made yours! Great to see good people recognizing good people!” another person commented.

Newly redesigned $100 notes lay in stacks at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Newly redesigned $100 notes lay in stacks at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, DC, on May 20, 2013. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Some also pointed out how common it is for teachers to work several jobs at once.

“Anything to raise awareness is a good thing. The people who left this are good people. But the situation that surrounds it is not a ‘heartwarming feel good story’ that the news wants us to think. It’s sad that our teachers don’t make enough to support themselves without taking on extra jobs.”

“It’s nice that its raising awareness, but it happens a whole lot more often than people think. It just that the news never picks it up,” another person wrote.

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File image of a classroom.(Wokandapix/Pixabay)

New Jersey Teaching Salary

Nearly four and half million teachers across the country earn an average salary of $58,780, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

While that number isn’t far off from what the average American earns, a study conducted by the Economic Policy Institute showed that teachers earn 17 percent less than college-educated professionals with similar degrees.

The average public school teacher salary is different in each state, but New Jersey teachers are among some of the nations highest paid. However, New Jersey is also known for having “one of the best school systems and being one of the most expensive places to live,” according to NJ.com.