What would you do for free coffee on a Wednesday morning? For staff, teachers and parents at Bowman Elementary School, it meant standing in the rain as a local business thanked the everyday heroes among staff.

As part of Teacher Appreciation Week, Kaladi Brothers Coffee held its third annual "Coffee for a Day" voting contest online. The school with the most votes in the Anchorage won morning coffee from the Kaladi Brothers' coffee truck.

Kaladi Brothers' marketing director, Seth Stetson, said the contest began about three years after the company got its truck. This year, the site collected 12,000 visits for the online poll.

The first-year winner was Eagle River High School, Stetson said. Chugiak High School won in 2018.

Bowman Elementary won the vote over Chugiak High School by just over a percentage point, according to poll results.

Stetson says Kaladi Brothers has always given free coffee to teachers and staff on National Teacher Appreciation Day, May 7, in all of its stores. This year's coffee truck win is a special bonus for Bowman Elementary.

"It's really exciting because we are the first elementary school ever to get the Kaladi's coffee cart and we had our parents and our staff vote for what's their favorite elementary school or even their favorite Anchorage School District school in Anchorage and we won," said Patrick Freeman, Bowman's principal. "We are really excited about that because it just shows how much our parents and staff appreciate our school."

The coffee truck is an added bonus to a staff the community views as superheroes.

"The superhero theme was really done by our parents so it was really exciting and it didn't come up by us, myself," Freeman said. "It was just something they decided to do because they believe in our teachers and staff and believe they're superheroes."

According to student council president Finley Fiacco, teachers and volunteers begin their days early and stay late to help with after-school activities.

"It means a lot because Bowman wouldn't really be what it is without the PTA, the staff and the teachers and everything," she said.

Teacher Appreciation Week is an annual event organized by the National PTA and held the first week of May.

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