By Bill Landon
Third time was also a charm for Mount Sinai Middle School’s faculty.
Brandon Loomis, a 6-7 physical education teacher and four-year starter in Mount Sinai School District’s faculty game, ignited the crowd with dunk after dunk to help lead his Black Team to a 73-72 win over Mount Sinai High School staff March. 2.
“[I do it for] all of these kids here that cheer us on,” Loomis said. “We hype it up in the elementary school — they get so excited.”
There was time for one last play after the Gray Team scored on a free-throw to break a 71-71 tie, and the middle school team made it count. Elementary school principal Rob Catlin brought the ball down the court and passed to fifth-grade teacher Melissa Drewisis at the baseline, who found nothing but net as the buzzer sounded to win the game, and with it, bragging rights for another year.
High school team captain and floor general Matt Dyroff said the nor’easter howling outside made him think about postponing the Battle of the Educators, and was glad he didn’t.
“We contemplated whether to call it off, but we said, ‘Let’s go with it,’” Dyroff said. “We crossed our fingers, and it worked out well — it’s a great crowd. The excitement that it brings to the kids … it’s always all about the kids.”
The game is organized and sponsored by Mount Sinai Booster Club, and funds raised from ticket sales, concessions and the halftime shooting contest go toward six $1,000 athletic scholarships awarded in June. Booster club President Diane Tabile said if money is needed to fund other projects or events throughout the district, the club is more than happy to share the wealth. Tabile said she loves how the faculty game is different from anything else her club partakes in throughout the year.
“The kids come out and watch their favorite teacher, especially the younger kids, they idolize these teachers,” Tabile said. “I appreciate the faculty coming out giving up their own time so the kids can come and watch, it’s just a great night. If there’s a program maybe they’re lacking funds for, or if a student may need a little help financially, we’re always willing to help out and we’re lucky that we can.”
Tabile’s daughter Alexa, a senior varsity cheerleader who worked the souvenir and snack stand, said the event gave herself and her classmates a unique perspective of their teachers.
“It’s fun to see the teachers,” she said. “You always see them on such a composed level, but to see them differently — letting their hair down — is fun.”