The San Diego Padres have named three local teachers as
finalists for a nationwide campaign that celebrates remarkable educators who
have an impact on the lives of their students and communities.
The Target Presents People All-Star Teachers campaign is a collaboration
between Target, PEOPLE And Major League Baseball (MLB).
The three finalists for San Diego and Imperial counties are
Keith Ballard, Stephanie Hubner, and Tim Gilliland. They will be recognized during
a special pregame ceremony on June 21. The public can visit AllStarTeachers.com
to vote for their favorite through June 29.
Ballard, a music teacher at Southwest Middle School in San
Diego, recognized that there was a need for musical programs designed for his
many ethnic students and created an African drum ensemble, steel drum band, and
one of the largest mariachi programs in the country, including 800 students
from 13 schools in the district. His mariachi students have performed for presidents
Bush and Clinton. Many of Ballard’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, where they are able
to see their families for the first time. Over the course of his 20-year
career, Ballard has received more than 30 teaching awards, including the 2003
Milken National Educator Award and the Cesar Chavez Human Rights Award.
Hubner, an English teacher at Mar Vista High School in Imperial
Beach, has worked with disadvantaged and high-need students there for more than
10 years. From teaching English to students with special needs to running a
peer-mediation and anti-bullying program, Hubner’s commitment to each student
goes beyond academics. In addition to her normal academic workload, Hubner also
assists struggling students in the after-school tutoring center. In 2013,
Hubner was recognized by her district as an outstanding teacher of English
A native of San Diego, Gilliland took a job teaching in
rural Arizona after graduating from San Diego State University. Thirty-six
years later, the Desert Mesa Elementary School teacher is still going strong. A
countywide Teacher of the Year finalist, Gilliland has mentored pre-service
teachers for more than two decades. He
was one of the first teachers in his district to embrace the creative use of
technology in the classroom and also pioneered the use of reading assistance
dogs in schools. Gilliland’s fifth-grade class is currently working with their
first-grade buddies to document the life stories of seniors in assisted-living
facilities. Outside the classroom, he works with Guide Dogs for the Blind, and
also helped establish Tails of Joy, a program that provides therapeutic pet
visits to patients.
There are 90 finalists across the country.
One winner from each of the 30 MLB Clubs will be included in
All-Star Week activities and recognized during the pre-game ceremony of the
2014 MLB All-Star Game. An “All-Star
Teacher” winner will be featured in PEOPLE magazine during the week of the MLB