Atlanta Braves Celebrate Cobb Teachers, Recognize Two MVP Cobb Teachers 

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Day, the Atlanta Braves recently awarded two Cobb teachers the title of 2019 Atlanta Braves Most Valuable Teachers. 

From the hundreds of nominations that the team received from across Braves country, Keisha Crawford, Hollydale Elementary School, and Samantha Spratling, Fair Oaks Elementary School, stood out for their commitment to students inside and outside of the classroom.  

The Hollydale MVP teaches a social and emotional learning class called “Step it Up!” She teaches students to use social skills needed to be a responsible and contributing member of their school, community, and ultimately for the future. 

Earlier this year, a family of 18 from Hollydale lost their home in a house fire. Crawford jumped in and not only started collecting supplies for them, but recruited her husband, a realtor, to help them find a house. But, she didn’t stop there. The resourceful teacher then contacted TV and radio stations to get the word out that a family was in need. 

In her nomination, Crawford was described as a cheerleader and champion for kids.  

Like Hollydale’s dedicated teacher, the Fair Oaks MVP, is committed to helping her students and their families.  

Spratling created the Fair Oaks Fresh Market, which provides food and toiletries on a biweekly basis to the families in the community.  

The market she created is not your typical run of the mill “food pantry.” She designed the market in one of the empty learning labs that provides a grocery store shopping experience, along with shopping carts. She works with the Atlanta Community Food Bank, MUST Ministries, and Mt. Bethel every week to make sure the market is fully stocked and ready to provide much-needed food to the community. 

Currently, she is creating a clothing market to go along with the fresh market.  All of the food and clothing are provided to families at no cost.  

Samantha Spratling is more than an incredible teacher; she is a silent leader that never wants any recognition for what she believes is just part of her commitment to our school community.  She truly puts the needs of all others before her needs, day in and day out,” Principal Dean Yoder said in his nomination letter to the Atlanta Braves.  

In addition to recognizing the Most Valuable Teachers and presenting them with checks for $1,000 each, the Atlanta Braves also invited the Cobb teachers who received Teacher Impact Grants earlier in the year to attend the game. The team played a video highlighting how the Cobb teachers are using the grant dollars.  The Atlanta Braves Foundation funded the innovative educational projects of eight teachers. The projects focused on STEM, healthy living and literacy.  

School  Project Title  Teacher 
Bryant Elementary School  Reading for Success in Read 180  Kathy O’Rourke 
Campbell Middle School  GET GROWING!  Cinde Valencia 
Dowell Elementary  STEM/Coding Buddies  Wendy Astin 
East Side Elementary  The Culture of Kindness  Maria Larsson 
Floyd Middle  School Sustainable Organic Garden Project  Christine Gay 
King Springs Elementary  Coding Across the Curriculum  Chelsea Whitesell 
Lewis Elementary School  Stem & Sensory Centers for Special Needs  Kimberly Pair 
McCall Primary  Change Your Words Change Your Mind Part Two  Melissa Usrey