Teacher Stacie Starr appeared on the LIVE with Kelly and Michael show today and Elyria Schools ended up with a brand-new, state-of-the-art digital, wireless scoreboard for Ely Stadium.
Elyrians near and far were excited to know Starr, a 14-year veteran of the district who works as an intervention specialist, would appear on the nationally syndicated show as one of five finalists in the national Top Teacher Search. Starr is a rock star of a teacher who teaches, coaches and mentors students.
“She believes every kid can achieve and they in turn believe in themselves,” is how Elyria High Principal Tom Jama describes Starr.
But no one was prepared for the gift bestowed upon the district.
Not even Starr.
“Shut up,” she exclaimed when co-hosts Michael Strahan and Kelly Ripa announced the district was getting the new score board.
Home in Elyria, Superintendent Paul Rigda responded with two different words, said district spokeswoman Amy Higgins.
“He just said ‘Oh, God’ with this look of disbelief,” she said.
The new digital scoreboard will replace the current 16-year-old model that is in such disrepair Higgins said birds are building nests in the back.
“It’s so outdated we can’t even find parts for it,” Higgins said. “The message board is rusted, and we have actually had to remove parts and pieces that were falling off. The control board is stationary and in the press box. Every other school that has a newer stadium has this kind of scoreboard so we are very happy.”
So, just how did the national show know just what Elyria needed?
Higgins said show producers presented Jama and Rigda with the opportunity to create a wish list.
They quickly decided the high school was not in great need considering it was just seven years ago Elyria votes passed a bond issue to fund the construction of Elyria High — a $70 million school building. They turned their dreams to district needs that could benefit many for years to come.
However, neither imagined the gift of the score board would be granted. The district had once priced out a new scoreboard and on the low end received estimates of $25,000 and more.
“But anyone who knows Stacie knows this is a totally appropriate gift in her name in the district,” Higgins said. “When Stacie is not in the classroom you’ll find her at the stadium coaching track and football.”
The scoreboard was not the only gift. Starr received a golden apple award – which is something she eyed from the moment the show announced she was a finalist – and she given a family vacation to Nassau, Bahamas.
Starr now contends for the Top Teacher spot and chance to be the grand-prize winner, which will be announced Tuesday on the show. The teacher with the most viewer votes earns the coveted title, the national attention that goes with it, and a brand-new 2014 Ford Escape.
Voting begins tomorrow at livekellyandmichael.com.