NEW JERSEY SENATOR CORY BOOKER, NATIONAL ORGANIZATION “HONOR” LOCAL PHYSICAL EDUCATION TEACHER
Gabby Chase named latest winner of recognition series
EAST WINDSOR, N.J. - October 6, 2017
Gabby Chase, a physical education teacher at Perry L. Drew Elementary School, is changing the lives of her students, 12 plastic cups at a time. An avid traveler and adventure-seeker, Chase launched a local craze that turned the deceptively simple act of cup stacking into a competitive sport and form of mentorship.
In October, she will be celebrated by Honored, a nonprofit organization dedicated to elevating teachers across the nation. Each month, Honored shines a spotlight on one teacher who is making a difference. The Honoree receives a $5,000 award and is empowered to help other teachers with a $1,000 gift card to DonorsChoose.org.
“Gabby is an inspiring example of the impact that high-quality teachers can have on their communities,” said Cory Booker, the junior United States Senator from New Jersey. “The powerful connections formed between teachers and students are the foundation of great education, and her recognition from Honored is well-deserved.”
Over the past 30 years, Chase has shaped thousands of students at East Windsor Regional School District, where she is known as the “Queen of Cups.” Her sport stacking club has grown so much that it is now part of the P.E. curriculum on campus at Drew Elementary.
As part of her recognition, Chase’s story will be immortalized by Sam Gardner, a former senior reporter at FOX Sports, in a profile article. In it, Gardner writes:
While beginners typically get their feet wet with a basic 3-3-3 formation, the standard “cycle,” as it’s known in the stacking world, involves the use of 12 identical cups. Stackers start by building and immediately deconstructing towers of three, six and three cups, respectively, then move on to a 6-6 formation, which features two six-cup towers, built side-by-side… For the majority of Ms. Chase’s students, the objective is gradual improvement more so than maintaining a lightning-fast pace, and when she sees the camaraderie and teamwork displayed by the third, fourth and fifth graders in her club, Ms. Chase knows she’s hitting that goal.
“For me, the biggest thrill is seeing my students work together and grow more confident in themselves,” said Chase. “Through stacking, the students learn teamwork and leadership skills, eventually mastering the art so well that they can teach their peers.”
The results are transformative. Gardner, who visited Chase at Drew Elementary while writing her profile, recalls:
Shortly after I met Gabby, we were walking past the school’s cafeteria when a young boy with a gap-toothed smile called her name from one of the lunch tables inside. Gabby spoke with the boy for a few minutes, making small talk, giving hugs and asking about his weekend. She later told me that this particular child traveled 90 minutes each way to school every day and was so shy he was almost nonverbal upon starting kindergarten earlier in the year. In a matter of months, and in large part due to his relationship with Gabby, the boy had blossomed and was now thriving in school. It was clear that he and Gabby shared a special bond, one forged a few five-minute conversations at a time.
It’s moments like these that moved 11-year-old Mallory Bertrand to nominate her teacher for the award.
“She’s always really encouraging,” says Bertrand, the third child in her family to complete Chase’s stacking program. “She wants you to feel like you can do anything and wants you to feel good about yourself. So it’s nice to have a teacher that cares about you that much.”
The full story is available at www.honored.org/honoree/gabby-chase/, and visual assets of Chase and her student Mallory Bertrand can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/aizwamojnj6nudt/AADC_hIR8ACQYKNmK21VlTTEa?dl=0 .
Has a teacher changed your life? Honored wants to share your story and give your teacher some well-deserved recognition. To nominate a teacher, visit honored.org/nominate/.
Honored is a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to elevating the status of teaching in the United States. Each month, Honored shines a spotlight on a teacher who has changed the life of a single student. The honoree receives a $5,000 cash award, and Honored recruits a world-class writer to tell their story. Honorees are selected from K-12 teachers of all subjects at public, private and charter schools across the country. Honored’s National Advisory Board includes luminaries such as the internationally best-selling author Michael Lewis, DonorsChoose.org founder Charles Best, Teach For America founder Wendy Kopp and FEED cofounder Lauren Bush Lauren.
For more information about Honored, visit honored.org. To nominate a teacher, visit honored.org/nominate/. For regular updates on Honored and our monthly honorees, follow and like us on facebook.com/Honored.org, twitter.com/honored and instagram.com/honored_org.
Honored Press ContactChelsea O’Neal