First timers to the Yard Goats as well as long-time fans came together on a beautiful July evening to take in a game and relax with colleagues. For teachers enjoying a break from the constant pressure of the school year, the evening was the perfect chance to meet teachers from other districts in a relaxed setting while enjoying some baseball.
Among the annual events CEA organizes to bring teachers together outside the classroom are CEA Teacher Appreciation Days at the Yard Goats, which include an all-you-can buffet, a covered party deck, and a great view of the action on the field.
“This is our third year in a row coming, and it’s one of our favorite events. It’s all about making every day of summer vacation count, and CEA puts together an awesome event every year at the stadium,” said Lisa Wasylean, a Berlin teacher. “You can bring your family along with you, it’s just a beautiful venue, and it’s well planned. Everyone’s always happy to be out and about and having fun.”
“It’s been a tough couple of years, so this is a nice way to gather us all together,” said Geri Ristow, a Region 15 teacher. “I got to go to the UConn homecoming tailgate last fall, which was my first CEA event. It’s nice to enjoy a summer evening like this. CEA does a great job of supporting teachers and bringing us together.”
“CEA is always here to represent teachers and support their work in the classroom, but we are also here for teachers when it comes to relaxation and rejuvenation,” said CEA President Kate Dias. “It is so much fun to share and enjoy a gorgeous summer night with our members and their families.”
Among the 130 active teachers, retirees, and aspiring educators–and their family and friends–were the Simeones, a family of teachers. Tony and Mariann are retired Windsor teachers, their son Christopher teaches in East Granbury, and his wife Sarah is a teacher in Enfield. Sarah’s mom is a school psychologist, and Sarah says her six-year-old Avery may well carry the teaching profession into the next generation–though 10-year-old Brady, a big Yard Goats fan, seems inclined toward a career in sports.
“My in-laws came last year and told us about it,” Sarah Simeone said. “There’s nothing better than a fun night with family.”
Avery said her favorite part of a Yard Goats game is “seeing the mascots,” which she got to do later in the evening when Chompers stopped by the party deck. Brady said his favorite part is “watching the game, win or lose. It’s fun to try to get baseballs and autographs.”
North Haven Middle School teacher Anthony Benvenuto was at the game with his wife and three young sons. “I got the CEA email about the game and thought it would be a great opportunity to bring the family. The kids got three balls during batting practice, so we’re off to a great start.”
Retired teachers Karen DiMenna and Liz Milewski went to a Yard Goats CEA teacher appreciation game last year and had such a good time they were back again this year. “It’s fun to be with colleagues enjoying something outside the classroom,” DiMenna said. “And we love baseball!” Milewski added.
Bridgeport teacher Mikeya Stovall grew up playing softball, but had never attended a Yard Goats game before. “It’s a fun activity to do with teachers from across the state before back-to-school season sets in.”
Granby teacher KC Petruzzi and her husband regularly enjoy Yard Goats games with their family and jumped at the opportunity to join other CEA members on the party deck.
“It’s really nice to have a chance to relax and take time for ourselves,” Petruzzi said. “We’re always doing so much for school and for kids–because it’s all about the kids–and every once in a while, you’ve got to do a little for yourself. To have opportunities like this to get together and enjoy each other’s company, it’s just a real treat.”
There are still tickets available to the last Yard Goats Teacher Appreciation Game of the season on August 19. Get your tickets today!