School heroes honored by NJEA, Thunder

Published on Thursday, September 13, 2012

2012 Thunder Essay Contest Winners
Students and their heroes at the NJEA/Thunder Back-to-School Game: From left: Bayonne teacher Mary Beth Baccarella, her student Kara Mia Mayer, Boomer, Zahbria Anderson and her teacher Catherine Morrow, Mya Barroquiero, and NJEA Vice President Wendell Steinhauer. The mascots are Derby (l) and Chase.
True heroes don’t wear capes or possess superpowers. True heroes make a difference in the lives of children. That’s why NJEA and the Trenton Thunder teamed up to honor three students and their school heroes.  

The winners were among several hundred students across the state who submitted essays on the topic, “My Hero Works at School.”  The students, their families, and their heroes were the invited guests of the NJEA and Thunder at the Thunder’s game against the Altoona Curve on August 21 at Mercer County Waterfront Park. The students and their heroes joined NJEA Vice President Wendell Steinhauer on the field for a pre-game ceremony. Members of the NJEA Public Relations Committee judged the essays.

Third-grader Kara Mia Mayer wrote about Mary Beth Baccarella, her teacher at Henry E. Harris Elementary School in Bayonne. Kara wrote, “Having a hero in your school is as awesome as having three dogs as pets. She wants me and everyone else in my class to get at least 80s, 90s, and 100s. Anything below that she is not happy with. We respect that and we try better next time.”

Fourth-grader Zahbria Anderson wrote about Catherine Morrow, her teacher at Dr. Leroy McCloud School in Englewood. “In the beginning of school I used to be very shy. Mrs. Morrow helped me to actually talk without getting nervous. I believe that Mrs. Morrow helps me a lot because without her, I wouldn’t be participating in class.”

Mya Barroquiero, a fifth grader at School #4 in Belleville, wrote about her third-grade teacher Kathleen Marfino. “Superman is a superhero who helps people with his superpowers. But my third-grade teacher uses her instincts to help me and 25 other students. Mrs. Marfino helps me prepare for fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh grades. These early years will shape me for my future.”

The Thunder also designated the evening as NJEA Appreciation Night. Children attending the game received a free NJEA race car.

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