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Ohio teacher Spetrino calls support 'flattering'

CLEVELAND -- The players won't be the only ones honored for their accomplishments at the 2014 All-Star Game.

On Tuesday, Major League Baseball announced the winners of the "Target Presents People All-Star Teachers" campaign, which recognizes 30 outstanding teachers -- one associated with each team -- who have sought to better their communities and promote growth in their students.

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Cleveland fans voted for Jacqui Spetrino of Dale R. Rice Elementary School in Mentor, Ohio, to represent the Indians in Minneapolis on Tuesday, when she and the other 29 winners will be formally commended in a special pregame ceremony at Target Field.

For Spetrino, a lifelong fan of Cleveland sports, the entire ride has been overwhelmingly positive.

"This is by far the most flattering experience of my life," Spetrino said. "The outpouring of support and the positive remarks from the city I live in, Willoughby, and Mentor, where I work, has been amazing. Mentor knows me as a teacher, and Willoughby knows me as a single mom that coached my son in baseball all the way through. It's just been really nice and really rewarding."

Spetrino has also been nominated for Teacher of the Year in Mentor. She devotes much of her time to the area's senior citizens, making scheduled visits with her students, and she has even arranged for the elderly to come view her pupils' creative talents at school art shows.

"We have a nursing home across the street from one of my schools. It seems like the school doesn't do a whole lot with them, so I try to make a big deal out of going over there," Spetrino said. "I take the students over there three or four times a year. We build a relationship with them."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. Alec Shirkey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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