7/8/2014 2:30 P.M. ET
Minnesota Twins Winner Announced as Part of MLB, Target and Time Inc.'s "All-Star Teachers" Program
Neil Johnson Will Be Recognized in a Special Pre-Game Ceremony with a Performance from Idina Menzel at the 2014 MLB All-Star Game
By / MLB.com
Major League Baseball, Target Corp (NYSE: TGT) and PEOPLE today announced the 30 winners in the "Target Presents PEOPLE All-Star Teachers" campaign, which celebrates remarkable current and retired teachers who make an impact on the lives of their students and communities. Neil Johnson of Shakopee, Minn. has been selected by fans to represent the Minnesota Twins.
With nearly four decades of teaching experience, high school calculus teacher and Minnesota Twins fan Neil Johnson is devoted to both math and sports. In fact, he continues to hold the title of Shakopee's only softball coach and has coached softball longer than any other coach in the state. He has also served as the math department chairman for 20 years, and in 2008, he started a pilot program that allowed calculus students to receive college credit from the University of Minnesota. Beyond the classroom, Neil was instrumental in building a softball complex, organizing community groups to help build fields, press boxes, dugouts and bleachers. He also created both the Shakopee Girls Basketball Association and Girls Softball Association. On and off the field, this teacher supports his students as well as his coworkers, often acting as a mentor to new math teachers. That's why it's no wonder that his students describe him as "the best math teacher I have ever had."
Neil Johnson of Shakopee, MN will join one winner representing each of the 30 MLB Clubs to be included in All-Star Week activities and recognized during the pre-game ceremony of the 2014 MLB All-Star Game on FOX. As part of the pre-game ceremony, Tony-award winner Idina Menzel will perform the classic song "Forever Young" by 11-time Grammy Award winner Bob Dylan, who is a Minnesota native.
Fans nationwide cast their votes at AllStarTeachers.com to select 30 winners from a pool of 90 finalists. Additionally, Eric Stonestreet, a Dodgers fan who plays a teacher on Modern Family; Matthew Morrison, a Mets fan who plays a teacher on FOX's Glee; and AJ Calloway of Extra TV, a Yankees fan whose mom is a retired principal and sister is a current principal, served alongside New York Yankees Carlos Beltran and Los Angeles Dodgers Adrian Gonzalez as Program Ambassadors to the "All-Star Teachers" initiative.
Target presents "PEOPLE All-Star Teachers" is just one part of Target, MLB and PEOPLE's effort to celebrate teachers and raise awareness about the importance of education this baseball season. MLB Legends have attended Target-hosted School Library Makeover events in MLB communities throughout the first half of the season including Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, Vinny Castilla, Ron Cey, Cliff Floyd, Luis Gonzalez, Tim Laudner, Gary Matthews, Tony Oliva, Harold Reynolds and Michael Young. Guests and fans can visit ABullsEyeView.com/Baseball for regular updates and behind-the-scenes access to campaign activities leading up to the All-Star Game.
About Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball (MLB) is the longest running professional sports league in the United States and consists of 30 member Clubs in the U.S. and Canada, representing the highest level of professional baseball. Under the guidance of its ninth Commissioner, Allan H. (Bud) Selig, MLB has experienced dramatic changes including Interleague Play, the introduction of the Wild Cards, the new expanded Postseason format, the most comprehensive drug testing program in U.S. professional sports, an unprecedented era of labor peace, significant revenue sharing among the Clubs and growth in revenue from $1.2 billion in 1992 to more than $8 billion in 2013. The last ten years have produced the ten best-attended individual seasons in MLB history, including more than 74 million fans in 2013. With the continued success of MLB Network, MLB Advanced Media and the MLB Fan Cave, the National Pastime is consumed more often and in more ways than ever before. For more information on Major League Baseball, visit mlb.mlb.com.
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,916 stores - 1,789 in the United States and 127 in Canada - and at Target.com. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit through community grants and programs; today, that giving equals more than $4 million a week. For more information about Target's commitment to corporate responsibility,visit target.com/corporateresponsibility.
PEOPLE revolutionized personality journalism when it launched in 1974, and is now celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2014. Each week PEOPLE brings more than 53 million consumers the latest news, exclusive interviews, and in-depth reporting on the most compelling people of our time. In addition to unparalleled access to the entertainment community, the stories of real-life "Heroes Among Us" remain an essential component of PEOPLE's editorial approach. PEOPLE.com is the premier web destination for celebrity news, photos, style, and entertainment coverage. With reporters across the globe, PEOPLE is headquartered in New York City and is published by Time Inc. For more information visit www.PEOPLE.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.