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Cavaliers choose Elyria teacher as this month’s ‘Head of the Class’

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  • 23925516

    McKinley Elementary School teacher Brandi Huffman reacts as she’s told about the Cavs VIP tickets included among her gifts for being the Cleveland Cavaliers’ “Head of the Class” teacher of the month. Behind her is Cavs mascot Sir CC, who presented her with the award along with Cavs in-arena host Ahmaad Crump on Friday at the school in Elyria.

    BRUCE BISHOP / CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — On Friday morning, Brandi Huffman and her class of kindergarten students at McKinley Elementary School had no idea the surprise in store for them.

As happens on most days, the children were excited for snack time and Huffman was sitting in a blue rocking chair talking to them.

What made Friday special was that it isn’t every day that Ahmaad Crump, the Cleveland Cavaliers in-arena host, and Cavs mascot Sir C.C. surprise you with an oversized check for $500, free tickets to an NBA basketball game and tell you that you’re the Cavs “Head of the Class” teacher of the month.

Huffman, who has been teaching for 18 years including the last nine at McKinley, was completely surprised.

“This is seriously the most exciting thing that has happened to Miss Huffman!” she told her class.

Crump and Sir C.C. posed for a group photo with Huffman and her students, and also threw in a couple selfies with staff, including Associate Superintendent Ann Schloss. Huffman even tried on Sir C.C.’s oversized black hat.

“You give so much of yourself, and the students and staff love you,” Crump told Huffman, who was nominated for the “Head of the Class” award at Cavs.com by a parent of a student she had several years ago. “We heard some great things about you, all the way down at The Q.”

He then told her the team was giving her two free tickets and VIP passes to the Jan. 29 Cavs game against the Washington Wizards — “with all the food you want,” Crump said, which impressed the students — along with $500 to use in her classroom however she needs and a swag bag including a Cavs hat, T-shirt and more.

She’ll also get to go out on the floor at the game, in front of “all the fans,” Crump told her.

Huffman said she might use the $500 donation to buy some more games for her classroom, or a carpet. And she promised her students she’d keep the huge novelty check and mount it on one of the classroom walls.

Now in his 14th season as the voice of the Cavs, Crump said the team sponsors the “Head of the Class” awards program because “we think teachers have the greatest job on Earth. And they are heroes to us. We think they should be rewarded.”

Going out into the schools and the community with the mascots to honor teachers and students is “definitely a great feeling,” he added.

Although Huffman told her class she was sad she couldn’t bring them all to the game with her, she said she likely would take her husband, Bill, who is “a huge Cavs fan,” she said.

“Any kind of acknowledgement you get is very special as a teacher,” Huffman said.





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