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

Keith Ballard

Southwest Middle School
San Diego

Music teacher Keith Ballard recognized a need for musical programs designed for his many ethnic students. He has created an African drum ensemble, steel drum band ensemble and the amazing mariachi ensembles. Keith runs one of the largest mariachi programs in the U.S., and his students have performed for President Bush and President Clinton. Because of Keith's work, his district has expanded the program to 13 schools, and now more than 800 students are involved in the mariachi program. Keith has received more than 30 teaching awards in his career, including the 2003 Milken National Educator Award and the Cesar Chavez Human Rights Award. Many of Keith's students have family members in Mexico who cannot travel to the U.S. because of documentation issues. Once a year, Keith takes his students to perform a large concert in Tijuana, Mexico, where they are able to see their families for the first time. Keith says that many of the family members "cry with tears of happiness" to have this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Why Keith roots for the Padres: "I first became a fan of the San Diego Padres when I met the Padres relief pitcher and Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers in 1977. He was my next door neighbor when my father owned some property on Mt. Helix in La Mesa."

Tim Gilliland

Desert Mesa Elementary School
Yuma, Ariz.

A native of San Diego and lifelong Padres fan, Tim Gilliland first discovered he had a natural talent for working with children while coaching youth soccer as a high school student. After graduating from San Diego State University, he took a teaching job in rural Arizona, and 36 years later, he's still going strong. A countywide Teacher of the Year finalist, Tim has mentored pre-service teachers for more than 20 years. He was one of the first teachers in his district to embrace the creative use of technology, and both he and his students have received national recognition for their work. His fifth-grade class is currently working with their first-grade buddies to document the life stories of seniors in assisted living facilities. He has also pioneered the use of reading assistance dogs in schools. Tim believes in giving back to the community and does so by working with Guide Dogs for the Blind. He also helped established Tails of Joy, a pet partner program that provides therapeutic visits to patients. Back in the classroom, Tim has the audacity to believe that kids can figure hard stuff out. And because he believes it, so do they.
Why Tim roots for the Padres: "I have my dad to thank for making me a Padres fan, telling me stories about players like Ted Williams and Luke Easter that he'd seen at the old Lane Field just a stone's throw from PETCO Park."

Stephanie Hubner

Mar Vista High School
Imperial Beach, Calif.

A high school English teacher and avid Padres fan, Stephanie Hubner roots for the underdog both in and out of the classroom. Teaching at Mar Vista High for more than 10 years, Stephanie's main focus has been working with disadvantaged and high-need students. From 2010-2013, she co-taught special-needs education English. She also ran a peer mediation and anti-bullying program, with the goal of minimizing safety issues on campus, from 2005-2014. Along with her normal classroom workload, Stephanie also works in the after-school tutoring center to assist struggling students. She taught a special California high school exit exam class for several years, ensuring that more than 100 juniors and seniors passed the test required to graduate in California. In 2013, Stephanie was recognized by her district as an outstanding teacher of English learners. But it all comes back to the essentials. Stephanie is a dedicated teacher who cares about her students and goes above and beyond to make learning fun. By integrating lessons with technology and media, she is able to hold student interest and spark their creativity. Her passion for teaching is inspiring, and her commitment to each student goes beyond academics.
Why Stephanie roots for the Padres: "The Padres always promise an exciting time with family and friends at PETCO Park!"

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.