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Major League Baseball, People and Target are recognizing teachers in your community.

Thomas Arentz

Sparrows Point High School

Thomas Arentz teaches English and Latin at Sparrows Point High School, but he does much more, making an impact on individual students, the school and the entire community. Over the course of his 16-year career, this Orioles fan has given students hope and determination. When one of them faces a rough day or tough life decision, he is there for guidance and support. Thomas has sponsored several extracurricular activities (Student Council, Future Educators of America) and sponsored the Class of 2008. Even when he goes home, his day is not finished. Thomas also teaches evening classes at the Community College of Baltimore County and is a dedicated and supportive fan of his children's athletic teams, having coached both of his sons' baseball and soccer teams for many years. Thomas is very involved with his church, having taught at both Sunday school and vacation bible school for many years. He is the council president for Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Rosedale, Md. It is Thomas' goal that all learn something through their interactions with him. He currently is studying Educational Leadership at Towson University, in the hopes of becoming an administrator and impacting student lives in this new way.
Why Thomas roots for the Orioles: "I have always loved the Orioles, from watching the games on TV to playing as an Oriole in Little League. Now, it is a great way for our family to spend time together."

Brian Raska

Minnieville Elementary School
Woodbridge, Va.

Orioles fan Brian Raska taught adapted PE to students with special needs for two years in Arlington, Va., and then moved to Minnieville Elementary in Woodbridge, Va., where he has been teaching elementary PE for the past three years. For the last two years, he has served as team leader for the school's specialists. This 2013 Dale City Teacher of the Year helps his students understand that playing sports isn't just about winning and losing, but about health and wellness throughout their lives. He's always coming up with creative ways to help his kids learn. For instance, he devised a game called Cholesterol Tag that teaches the students about heart health. He worked with other stakeholders at the school to increase students' physical activity and educate them on healthier food choices. Because of his efforts, Minnieville has twice earned the Gold Award -- the highest achievement -- in the Nutrition and Physical Activity Scorecard program, which rates school performance in nutrition and physical activity. Brian teaches not just because it is his job, but also because he wants to improve the lives of the students through improving their health.
Why Brian roots for the Orioles: "Born in Baltimore and raised in Maryland, the Orioles have always been a special part of my life, including summers at Camden Yards, idolizing and emulating the great Cal Ripken Jr., and sharing the love of the team with my daughter."

Catherine Thorson

Georgetown East Elementary School
Annapolis, Md.

An educator for 11 years, Dr. Catherine Thorson believes in the power of family -- and to her, everyone in the community is family. This avid runner and Orioles fan spent her career serving students living in poverty, and her sense of achievement comes from seeing her students rise above challenges to find success and helping them know that they are not bound by what others tell them their limits are. During her career, she procured funding for an outdoor classroom and a sports-and-academic after-school program helped her school get iPads and enlisted a local artist to construct an outdoor art piece. She did all this while ensuring quality academic instruction. Dr. Thorson is a high achiever. She holds two Master's degrees and an Ed.D. in education. She's been awarded her county's ESOL excellence award for her commitment to her English Language Learners and has earned teaching certificates in elementary education, biology and ESOL. Her most outstanding quality is her commitment to ensuring that all her students are happy, healthy and academically successful. She has a way of bringing out the best in everyone she meets.
Why Catherine roots for the Orioles: "I love supporting the Orioles because they are such great representatives of the things that are important to me: teamwork, effort and pride. The moments shared with family and friends in support of our home team are priceless!"

View the finalists by Major League team:

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. The PEOPLE All-Star Teachers Contest is open only to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense school overseas and Canada (excluding residents of the Province of Quebec) who are at least thirteen (13) years of age as of 3/10/14. To enter and view complete Official Rules, which govern this Contest, visit Contest begins at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) on 3/10/14 and ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on 6/29/14. Entry period ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on 5/6/14. Void in Quebec and where prohibited by law. Sponsor: PEOPLE Magazine. Major League Baseball trademarks and copyrights are used with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. Visit Target trademarks and copyrights are used with permission of Target Properties. Visit