Before classes began at Quakertown Community High School, several senior student-athletes had their uniforms ready as a one-day gift to their favorite teacher to wear or hang in their classroom.
What may become a new tradition was inspired by Kate Kemp, a social studies teacher, who read about “My Jersey, Your Impact,” at another school. “It’s a good way to show teachers they are valued and appreciated,” she said. “In the end, the kids do appreciate what we do every day.”
When Mackenna Calabria heard about the plan, she immediately knew her track jersey would go to Jason Anderson, her coach for each year of her high school career. “He’s absolutely an amazing coach, teacher, and role model in my life,” Mackenna said. “He’s very understanding and gets me to do the best I can. He’s had the biggest impact in my life, and helped make me the athlete I am today.”
When he saw Mackenna, the Suburban One League’s Liberty Division 100-Meter Dash champion, approach his classroom, Mr. Anderson walked to the door and was all smiles as she explained the event. Afterward, as he processed the kind words from his star athlete, Mr. Anderson said “I’m flattered and very appreciative. It’s a nice thank you.”
In all, 15 fall athletes awarded teachers at QCHS and Strayer Middle School their jerseys. For the educators, being chosen carries an extra boost of knowing the work they do day in and day out is making a real difference in the lives of their students.
Jennifer Honrado became emotional as John Eatherton explained why he was handing her his football jersey. “She’s always positive,” John said. “She always says hello. Everybody loves her.”
Mrs. Honrado was overwhelmed. “Oh, my God, that was awesome. It’s so special. That made my week.”
Other students awarding their jerseys were Sydney Bishop (Bethany Fuller and Laura Neilson), Natalie Boyd (Brittany Bamford), Kayra DeVries (Audrey Waddell), Sydney Fronheiser (Amanda Cordisco), Brett Hileman and Stone Renshaw (Jill Macaulay), Madison Kalinowski (Nick Hood), Kelly Kreuz (Nicole Jerrom), Karlee Metz (Rebecca Hamel), Julie Pizzi (Katie Hoffman), Kayla Sicher (Chris Polk), Brianna Stefenack (Zach Garger), Emily Wehr (Gayle Quinton).
“This is truly a great idea to honor the teachers who have impacted these seniors,” said Athletic Director Sylvia Kalazs said. “Looking forward to the Winter and Spring editions.”