Register Staff Report
Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Ben Revere didn’t have to think long when team officials asked him to name his favorite teacher to be honored at an annual teacher appreciation night at the Citizens Bank Park.
Instead of one teacher though, Revere quickly picked two of his former teachers at Richmond’s St. Mark School — Sharon Calhoun and Joan Wood — for having had the biggest influence on his life.
“Ms. Calhoun and Ms. Wood helped me to become the person I am today. They are the two ladies who really helped me in life,” Revere said. “Without them academically, I have no idea where I would be today. I can tell you, though, it wouldn’t be here. They stuck with me through thick and thin. To this day, they continue to help me. When I am in town, we go out to eat and catch up on what is going on in each other’s lives.”
Revere credits the two teachers for instilling in him as a youngster that to become the superstar he wanted to be, it would take hard work, that nothing would come easy, but that hard work has its rewards.
“Ms. Calhoun taught math class. When I entered the class, I wasn’t quick. Some kids just got the problems right away, and that wasn’t me. Ms. Calhoun really helped me with math. She made it click. All of a sudden I started to understand math, and I went from not doing well to getting all As,” Revere said. “Ms. Wood taught religion and reading. She showed me how important it was to be a strong reader. She said that would help me in all areas of my life, and she was right.”
Though both teachers were extremely tough on him, Revere said, he came to realize they just wanted the best from him.
“I’m an active person and they would get on me. They taught me about hard work and being respectful. When I understood that they were on me and pushing me to help me, I began to work hard to make sure that I was doing right by them. I praise them both every day for being on me. I worked hard to succeed in school, and when I graduated from high school they told me to never change,” Revere said. “I promised them that I would stay the same person and I think I have. I really thank them for all they did for me.”
The Phillies organization is flying Calhoun and Wood up to Philadelphia for the teach appreciation ceremony, which is today in Philly, and both, though surprised by the nominations, are very excited about the opportunity of getting to see Revere again.
“Being able to work with kids like Ben has always been a blessing to me. As many teachers know, our students often teach us as much — or more — than we teach them. This was certainly true of my time with Ben,” Wood said. “Ben was memorable for both his dedication and tenacity. He was determined to succeed in his academic world as well as the athletic. While being naturally gifted as an athlete, Ben struggled at times with scholastic pursuits. His natural talent in sports only contributed to the amazing work ethic he evidenced in his training.”
“Ben demonstrated on a daily basis his soul-deep knowledge of to whom he belonged. Although he was a non-Catholic in a Catholic school, he witnessed to all of us what it is like to be a Christian. Ben was loved and, yes, ‘revered’ by his classmates,” Wood added. “Every time we are able to meet up with Ben, it is special — the same twinkle in the eyes, the same strong, heart-felt hugs. I can’t wait to see what the future brings for him. He’s in my daily prayers, and I know we are in his.”
Wood and Calhoun both taught Revere in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades at St. Mark. Revere attended high school at Lexington Catholic.
Wood currently works in the Casey County School System. Calhoun is retired from teaching.