Natalie's Everyday Heroes: 4th grade teacher Lisa Eckes delivers shamrock shakes to students

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MEQUON (CBS 58) -- When school was cancelled a few months ago, no one knew students and teachers were saying goodbye for the rest of the school year. One teacher in Mequon didn’t want that to be the end. She had promised her kids a special treat for all of their hard work during the year.

“In my class, we have an incentive where we earn shamrocks based on behavior,” explained 4th grade teacher, Lisa Eckes.

Eckes teaches at Donges Bay Elementary and she’s well known for one thing in particular.

“So every year, around St. Patrick's Day, if they earn 100 shamrocks they usually get shamrock shakes,” she said.

But this year, it didn’t end up like that. COVID-19 forced districts to cancel class before the kids could get their shakes.

“St. Patrick's Day was the first week that school was canceled,” Eckes said.

At first, she thought they’d be able to make up for it later in the year.

“Initially I said, OK, we can't do it March 17, but we'll do it April 17,” she said. “That was the first question the kids had.”

But it soon became clear that wasn’t happening, either.

“The 17th of April came and went, and May 17th wasn't coming and so on and so forth and I decided, I have to do something,” she said.

When she realized the kids weren’t coming back, she decided to bring the shamrock shakes to them.

“I've never seen our 10-year-old son speechless,” said Aree Wichman, the mother of one of Eckes’ students.

Wichman said the special delivery took some coordinating with parents. They got a Google doc, where they could all weigh in on the best day and time for Eckes to come.

“When I got this email, I was like, this is going to make his day,” Wichman said. “And I want it to be as special as possible.”

Eckes gave the parents a three-hour delivery window, packed more than 20 shakes in her SUV, decorated the car with shamrocks and an Irish flag, and hit the road with her two daughters.

“They decorated the car. They dressed in their green,” Eckes said. “They got all shamrocked out in their green and everything, So, it was fun.”

Ten-year-old Charlie Wichman couldn’t believe it when his teacher pulled into their driveway.

“Goldie, our dog, started barking and then my mom was like, she's here!” he said. “So I went outside and I'm like, Ms. Eckes!”

It brought a big smile to his face.

“I was so happy that she came and I saw her bring the shamrock shakes and I was like, awesome!” Wichman said.

She didn’t only bring the shakes, but they came in special green cups, with special straws and whipped cream. Eckes said the presentation matters. It inspired Charlie and his older brother, Blake, to do some detective work.

“The shakes are the best shamrock shakes ever. We wanted to make one for ourselves,” he said.  “I kind of got her to spill the recipe a little bit.”

Charlie said it’s a secret recipe, but Eckes is willing to share.

“It's not really a secret,” she said with a laugh. “The secret ingredient is vanilla extract. Because when people think shamrock shakes, they think mint and ice cream.”

It took three hours to drive to every student’s house. Eckes took a selfie with each student and their shake, from a safe distance.

It impressed her class.

“She's very caring,” Charlie said. “She goes out of her way to do stuff for you.”

Eckes said the kids earned their shakes, and she was happy to make sure they got them.

“I think they were shocked and then incredibly surprised and then it went to thankful,” she said. “Very excited. The parents were very excited and thankful, as well.”

If you’d like to nominate someone for Natalie’s Everyday Heroes, just send Natalie a message at nshepherd@cbs58.com.

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