|NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer and the contest winners pose for a photo op with the Philly Phanatic.
The Phillies Phanatic joined NJEA President Wendell Steinhauer, fourth grader Ethan Levine and teacher Tracey Meister from Seaview Elementary in Linwood, and ninth grader Alexandra Robinson and teacher Kristin Lagg, both formerly of Dennis Township Middle School, on the field of Citizens Bank Park to celebrate NJEA Day with the Phillies on Sept. 8.
Steinhauer threw out the first pitch and the students and their teachers were recognized in a pre-game ceremony. The students were winners of the NJEA/Phillies Educators Who Help Me Grow Essay Contest. Levine wrote about Mrs. Meister, his third grade his language arts teacher, who “inspires me to be a better writer.”
Robinson, who is in ninth grade, wrote about her seventh-grade teacher Ms. Lagg. Robinson noted that she has dyslexia but with the help of Lagg she learned to “write sophisticatedly and to take chances.” As a result, she is one of the highest achieving students in her class and hopes to one day become a teacher.
A third winner, Allison Jiang of High Technology High School in Lincroft wrote about band teacher John Koryat. They were unable to attend but were represented by Allison’s teachers Jonathan Olsen and Sarah Gross.
The essay winners and their guests were treated to a VIP tour of Citizen’s Bank Park where they met Phillies interim manager Ryne Sandburg. Their families and guests also enjoyed a pre-game tent party.
All fans at the game ages 14 and under received a NJEA/ Phillies Ben Revere growth chart. Students at the Horace Mann Elementary School in Cherry Hill received a special surprise on their first day of school Sept. 3 courtesy of NJEA and the Phillies. When students chanted, “Let’s go, Phillies,” Ben Revere and the Phillies Phanatic magically appeared in the school cafeteria to encourage them to eat right, exercise, work hard, and listen to their parents and teachers. All Horace Mann students received growth charts and ticket vouchers.