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

Garrett Lim

Walnut High School
Walnut, Calif.

As a student at UCLA, Garrett Lim met teachers who changed his thinking about education. They encouraged him to learn, not just study. Garrett became a chemist, but later followed his passion to teaching chemistry, which is what he's been doing for the last eight years. He frequently relates his experiences in the chemistry industry to the classroom to help his students better understand chemistry's practical uses. He teaches a variety of levels of the subject, including honors, international baccalaureate and advanced placement. Ninety-eight percent of his AP students pass; because of performance such as that, Garrett received the 2013 University of Chicago Outstanding Educator Award. His dedication to his students is unmatched. This White Sox fan is the teacher adviser for Walnut High School's Environmental Care Global Awareness (ECGA) Club and he has won many other distinctions, including the George Hauge Memorial Travel Award, Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction and Science Division Teacher of the year. Garrett is also a musician who has played in several concerts benefitting the Red Cross and Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.
Why Garrett roots for the White Sox: "When I started watching baseball in the early 1990s, something drew me to Frank Thomas and how he approached the art of hitting, so much so that he became my favorite player. And since he played for the White Sox, the White Sox became my favorite team. I have been rooting for them since!"

Brenda Mendoza

Greenman Elementary School
Aurora, Ill.

Brenda Mendoza understands the difficulties faced by English Language Learners (ELL) because she was once one herself. This dedicated mother and teacher struggled to learn the language, but not only did she persevere, she also joined the gifted program. Brenda eventually earned a B.A. and two M.A.s, one in instruction with an ELL/bilingual emphasis and another in leadership. Once at Greenman Elementary School, Brenda, who has 11 years of experience teaching, created a program designed to get parents involved in the learning process. Brenda was nominated for the 2011 Kane County Teacher of the Year Award and won the Distinguished Educator Award in 2011. She has trained hundreds of teachers and helped implement parental programs all across Illinois. She mentors new teachers and Greenman parents, all while running her own classroom. If that weren't enough, in conjunction with her PBIS team, Brenda also helped establish an effective school-wide behavior management plan that has increased positive student behavior and has decreased negative student referrals.
Why Brenda roots for the White Sox: "I was born on the south side of Chicago; my roots, my history, my identity started there. This is why I'm a Sox fan, because the team represents not only my past but also my present, my future and my heritage!"

Sean Monahan

St. Juliana School
Chicago

Raised in the shadow of Chicago's steel mills, Sean Monahan is a lifelong White Sox fan who saw his first game at Comiskey Park with his grandparents in 1974. After his wife Julie gave birth to their two children, Sean realized that education was his calling, so he enrolled at Northeastern Illinois University to become a teacher. After graduating with honors, Sean joined the Chicago public schools as an early intervention specialist. Working with small groups and individual students, he helped struggling students reach grade level in reading. In 2013, he joined St. Juliana School on Chicago's northwest side, and reinvigorated the language arts curriculum with novel study and an intense focus on writing. From facilitating scavenger hunts and model-building as tools to enhance students' understanding of classic literary fiction, to the creation of websites that host students' own short stories, Sean is an innovative teacher who figures out each child's strengths and uses them to help the child succeed, not just in the classroom but in life as well. In his spare time, he coaches two youth sports and also writes grants to secure additional resources for his school.
Why Sean roots for the White Sox: "I love the Sox because I love my dad, and the Sox were his team. One of my favorite memories of he and I together was sitting through a brutally cold early-season game and staying all nine innings keeping score together. Today, I get to take my son and daughter to games, and teach them to keep score -- while watching my dad's Sox, my Sox, our Sox."

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.