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

Shawn Ilinitch

Stetson School
Barre, Mass.

Shawn Ilinitch didn't take the usual path to teaching. After college, he worked in journalism and law enforcement, discovering his favorite part of both jobs was working with youth. The avid Red Sox fan decided the classroom was the place for him, so he got certified and began teaching English at Stetson School, a non-profit residential school serving students with complex behavior problems, where he has worked for six years. Shawn wants his students to understand how much in life they can accomplish. Last year, with $250 in seed money, Shawn started the fresh start organic garden with students. He personally maintained the garden, even though he had no prior gardening experience. Shawn could be seen watering the garden when the sun was rising and weeding on the weekends. Shawn has been nominated for the Massachusetts Association of Approved Private Schools Teacher of the Year award three times. In 2013, he was named Stetson School's Employee of the Year. Last year, his student council raised more than $1,000 to fund the building of a bathroom facility in Africa in partnership with Seven Hills Global Outreach by making and selling paracord bracelets.
Why Shawn roots for the Red Sox: "The Red Sox will always connect me to my father, the biggest Red Sox fan I knew, who died in 2000. Every time I watch a game, a part of me goes back to my 9-year-old self, recalling the first game I can remember watching at Fenway Park with my dad, witnessing Wade Boggs hit his first home run of the 1989 season against the Rangers."

Paul Richardson

Crawford Middle School
Lexington, Ky.

Playing baseball was one of the only things that kept Paul Richardson motivated as a kid in the inner city. He spent his time going to school and then to baseball practice, and then to the job he worked nights to support his mother. Paul went on to college, where he played baseball all four years, and graduated with a degree in social work. He then earned a Master's degree in learning behavior disorders. Paul has been teaching for seven years, and for the past three years, this Red Sox fan has worked at Crawford Middle School. Most recently, he has worked as a math special education teacher (though he has taught nearly every subject in every grade from first to eighth). Paul has consistently raised his students' test scores two to three grade levels each year. He coaches the Crawford Middle School math and academic teams and has also coached baseball and football teams of kids of various ages. Paul is a great role model and father figure for many of his students. He is living proof that it is possible to follow your dreams and that nothing can hold one back.
Why Paul roots for the Red Sox: "Though I may be miles away today, my roots were firmly planted in Boston at birth, and my heart has always been full of Red Sox Nation pride!"

Annette Wylie

Norrback Avenue School
Worcester, Mass.

Annette Wylie is caring, kind and professional and a sweet person. Her goal is to "raise good citizens," and everything she does with her class is dedicated to that goal. She is a wonderful role model to her students, their families and her fellow teachers. A teacher for 25 years, Annette understands that the many demands placed upon her are for the benefit of the children, and it's clear they're always her first priority. Her positive spirit inspires her students, who in turn positively affect the entire school. She loves the children as though they were her own, affectionately calling them her "ladybugs." Raised in Puerto Rico, Annette championed a dual-language Spanish immersion program at Norrback Avenue School. This die-hard Red Sox fan has helped hundreds of children develop a passion for other cultures and language. The program was unexpectedly eliminated from the school this year, but Annette has shown great leadership to the families and students affected by the school district's decision.
Why Annette roots for the Red Sox: "The Red Sox are my favorite team because they're the hometown team and the favorite of my teenage daughter and my dad, which gives us a great conversation topic!"

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 www.allstarteachers.com. 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 MLB.com. Target trademarks and copyrights are used with permission of Target Properties. Visit Target.com.