Our Neighbor: McKinney teachers, businesses give special gift to custodian

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by CYNTHIA IZAGUIRRE

WFAA

Posted on January 4, 2011 at 12:51 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 4 at 12:56 PM

MCKINNEY - Tuesday, more North Texas schools head back to class after the holiday break. For many, it's back to the usual routine, but that's not the case for one McKinney school.

Its faculty and students are starting off the New Year by being named Tuesday's "Our Neighbor."

With 36 years under his belt as a custodian, Arthur Diaz takes pride in his job at Albert A. & Iola Lee Davis Malvern Elementary in McKinney. That's why teacher Debra Terry never hesitated to help when Diaz mentioned he was shopping for a car.

"I just told her I needed a vehicle, something that wasn't too expensive," Diaz said.

"I just sent one e-mail and I said, 'Guys, what do you think we can do right before our school was out for the holidays?' and our school raised $1,500 just from the teachers," Terry said.

On Monday morning, as kids returned from the holiday break, Diaz had a big surprise waiting for him in the parking lot.

Two local businesses helped the teachers buy a 1998 Buick for Arthur, who works two jobs and shares a car with his disabled wife.

"It's amazing how our community comes together and how happy the staff has been," Terry said.

"Thank you," Diaz said. "And I love them all; they're all my kids."

The entire school cheered as Diaz checked out his new ride, the younger generations learning another important lesson from their teachers.

"They're really nice and caring and they're trying to make us smart," said Noah Brower, a student.

"I've never felt it before," Terry said. "It's something that everybody should do, just give back [and] pay it forward. It's a great feeling."

For their love and consideration of a colleague in need, WFAA names Malvern Elementary School in McKinney an "Our Neighbor."

If you know someone we could feature as and Our Neighbor, contact cizzy@wfaa.com.

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