Phillies Fever Takes Over WCASD’s Exton Elementary School
There are Philadelphia Phillies fans and then there’s West Chester Area School District’s Mrs. Dorothy Schaller. Each year, Phillies pride sweeps through Exton Elementary and it starts in Mrs. Schaller’s fourth-grade class. From her wall of articles dedicated to the Phillies’ playoff appearances to her classroom’s focus on the importance of teamwork, everyone knows that Mrs. Schaller’s two greatest passions are the Phillies and her students – not necessarily in that order!
“I have always been a huge fan of Philadelphia sports,” said Schaller. “I grew up with season tickets for the Flyers and my husband is the one who really made the Phillies a staple in our house. Having local teams to cheer on and build community around is so meaningful for my entire family.”
Mrs. Schaller and fellow Exton Elementary teacher, Coleen Davis, have brought that special Philly sports fan enthusiasm to school with spirit days now focused on the World Series and a Phillies’ win. Last Friday, the entire school met outside on the playground for morning announcements where they sang “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and Harry Kalas’ version of “High Hopes” together before fifth-grade students played a quick game of Wiffle Ball against the school staff.
The staff and students had a great time cheering each other on and enjoying the outdoors, but Mrs. Schaller shared that these moments are more than just fun. “Some of our older students missed these opportunities in the last few years, so being able to come together and celebrate is such a joy for them and helps us to bond as a school community,” said Schaller.
Even when the Phillies aren’t in the playoffs or the World Series, they’re still a homerun with Mrs. Schaller’s fourth-grade students as they learn about language arts, history, and teamwork skills. When the opening day for Major League Baseball comes around each year, Mrs. Schaller’s students review her Phillies news articles as part of a lesson on primary and secondary sources. Students also learn when and how teams were formed within the league and create a historical timeline of events together.
“It’s such an awesome feeling to root for the Phillies as a school and to show my students that individual talent is remarkable but true teamwork makes us all stronger,” said Schaller. “Plus, now I’ll have more recent primary sources to add to my playoff wall!” she added.