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

Erika Perrine

Apple Valley Unified School District
Apple Valley, Calif.

Erika Perrine's parents came to the United States as immigrants from Mexico. The first to attend college, Erika earned a Master's degree in education and then a PPS credential in school counseling. She began her career as a Spanish teacher but now works as a school counselor and teacher on assignment for the English learner program. Erika has developed classes for parents learning English in our district and has spent the last two years getting her school district the Seal of Biliteracy. Erika goes the extra mile for all the students in the school district. One family was having immigration problems and needed their children to finish the school year. Erika took the high school students into her home and is helping them while their parents work on their immigration paperwork back in their home country. She sponsors students who are unable to go to prom. Erika listens and gives helpful advice. She understands how to motivate the students who feel lost and lack support at home. Her heart is what makes Erika stand out.
Why Erika roots for the Angels: "I became an Angels fan the first time I saw Jim Abbott pitch for the Angels and quickly learned that they are a great team that really takes good care of their fans."

Blake Smith

Valley High School
Santa Ana, Calif.

Blake Smith began his career in education working as a maintenance man at a preschool for the blind. That's when this Angels fan realized his passion for working with kids with special needs. He earned his degree in child and adolescent studies and received credentials for working with special-needs students. In 2009, he joined Valley High School as a teacher for students with severe disabilities. Blake now holds a Master's degree in special education and is working toward a Ph.D. in education. Blake founded the Inclusive Club at Valley, which encourages students to develop meaningful relationships with each other. Fundraising pays for activities such as school dances (tux and dress rentals, tickets, transportation, hair and make-up), graduation and community-based instruction trips. He works to improve the lives of everyone around him and ensures students have the same opportunities as others around them. He constantly applies for grants and scholarships for his students.
Why Blake roots for the Angels: "Jim Abbott's quote best sums up why I am a lifelong Angels fan: "Some of you may know that my career statistics weren't that great. There were some incredible highlights and some agonizing low lights. The truth is, I won't go to the Hall of Fame. But if a career can be measured by special moments, lessons learned and a connection with people then I would stack mine up with anyone's. Maybe there is an obligation to share. To try and learn from the experiences life puts us through." -Jim Abbott"

Erin Woodward

Kern Valley High School
Lake Isabella, Calif.

Erin Woodward began teaching after working in banking for 10 years. She worked full-time and attended night classes for seven years to earn teaching degrees in special education and Spanish. She taught special education for 16 years at a middle school, then changed districts and taught high school Spanish. Erin has been voted Teacher of the Year in every district where she's worked. She sets up intervention sessions for student-athletes in her Spanish class before and after school, at lunch and even over the weekends at her house. She has monitored and encouraged several students, helping them graduate with honors and attend college. As adviser of the school's California Scholarship Federation chapter, she motivates her students to work thousands of hours of community service each year. Erin mentors teachers as a Beginning Teacher Support Provider and was recognized as an Outstanding Educator for her work as a Boy Scout merit badge counselor. Erin has won numerous grants to enhance her classroom and students' learning. She utilizes her sewing talents to create costumes for her students' annual productions as well as for the 19th century living history demonstrations she performs at schools and in the community.
Why Erin roots for the Angels: "I have followed the Angels for over 30 years, beginning when a family friend, Doug DeCinces, became their All-Star third baseman."

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.