Treneal Chambers, a fifth-grade student at Chester Community Charter School, nominated her fourth grade teacher, Shannon McGarry, as part of the Philadelphia Phillies 2012 Teacher All-Star Contest.
Chambers earned four tickets for her, and her teacher, to attend the May 11 Philadelphia Phillies Teacher Appreciation game. The Phillies beat the San Diego Padres 7-3.
Chambers’ essay was chosen out of 1,500 submissions, as an honorable mention, among 30 other essays, with 10 essays winning the overall prize, two sets of complimentary tickets and an opportunity to participate in an awards ceremony prior to the first pitch.
The contest, in its 12th year and hosted by The Philadelphia Phillies and the Newspapers in Education Department of The Philadelphia Inquirer, is open to people of all ages.
The contest provides recognition for teachers who demonstrate mentorship, going above and beyond the set curriculum, who believe there is no such thing as “can’t” and who make every student feel loved and accepted.
Chester Community Charter School opened its doors on September 9, 1998, serving 97 students from four meeting rooms in the lobby of the Howard Johnson Hotel.
Since that time, the school has steadily grown to include more than 3,000 students in nine state-of-the-art buildings spanning two campuses. The school is the largest K-8 charter school in Pennsylvania.
“Our teachers are superb and it’s great that our students recognize and appreciate them,” said David Clark, CEO of Chester Community Charter School. “Ms. McGarry is just one member of our dedicated staff whose members continuously go above and beyond the call of duty for our students, making their education a personal goal. We, the leadership of the school, parents and students, are extremely fortunate to have teachers like Ms. McGarry instructing our youth. Kudos to both Treneal and Shannon for this most deserving award recognition.”
Chambers’ story is unique in that her family recently relocated to Atlanta, Ga. in search of a better life and opportunities. Upon notification of the award, Chambers opted to stay behind to attend the ceremony and game.
Chambers, unable to receive help on the hand-written essay, worked tirelessly to ensure it was mailed on deadline, even going as far as seeking out neighbors and nearby relatives to provide an envelope and stamp to send the nomination.
In her nomination, Chambers wrote, “I nominate Ms. McGarry because she is a wonderful teacher. She takes her time out to help me. When I can’t get anything right, she would come over and say, “You can do it. I believe in you. I will always believe in you. She’s also on my side when I don’t have a friend. No other teacher ever treated me like she does. I will never ever forget her.”