Students cheer as "Mr. T," driver of a small 80s truck, is left speechless with Secret Santa gift - East Idaho News
Secret Santa

Students cheer as “Mr. T,” driver of a small 80s truck, is left speechless with Secret Santa gift

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The team is busy helping a local Secret Santa give $1 million to deserving people in eastern Idaho this holiday season. Every day, from now until Christmas, we will post videos of the recipients being surprised with these life-changing gifts.

Frank Tavarez, commonly known as Mr. T, is the school leader of Teton Elementary in Teton. He grew up in New York City and a teacher helped him stay out of a gang by changing the direction in his life.

Frank became a teacher because he loves teaching and loves “his kids”. He is an incredible man married to an incredible woman. From the beginning of their marriage, they have shared their life and home with children who need a safe place to live.

They are raising their four children and Irene volunteers many hours at the schools. Frank attends not just his biological children’s sporting events, but his students’ events as well. Mr. T’s job just doesn’t stop at being the school leader – he is also a wrestling coach. He starts with the little kiddos in elementary and holds wrestling practice for boys and girls. He is also helping to coach the junior high and high school wrestling teams.

It isn’t just sports. If he is aware of something one of his students (past or current) is in, he tries to cheer them on however he can. He really has dedicated his life to being a teacher, a mentor and an example.

Frank normally drives a little Toyota pickup truck from the 1980s. It has a broken back window, no heat and mechanical
problems regularly. Frank fixes what he can and he is very handy. He doesn’t complain and will continue to make
due, but he needs to not worry if he will be able to make it to school because of car problems.

Secret Santa asked if we could visit Mr. T with an early Christmas gift. Once we got there, the entire school got in on the surprise. Check it out in the video player above!