Even though they’re not playing baseball, the Pittsburgh Pirates have plenty of all-stars.

The team recently honored 18 educators throughout the region as 2020 All-Star Teachers, and one is from Upper St. Clair: Lauren Bogus, who teaches second grade at Streams Elementary School. She was nominated by Claire Miller, Streams principal, and parent Kristen Wilson.

“Working alongside Lauren is an honor,” Miller said. “She inspires her students to exceptional levels of creativity, designs highly engaging learning opportunities and embraces all students within a nurturing and loving environment. Her classroom is a lively place, designed with thought to individual differences and needs, while at the same time fostering a sense of pride in their community of learners.”

Wilson, who teaches in a neighboring school district, considers her family to be fortunate that both of her sons have had Bogus as their second-grade teacher.”

“Mrs. Lauren Bogus is an outstanding educator who makes a significant, positive difference in the lives of her students while they are in second grade and beyond,” Wilson said. “Her positive impact stays with her students far beyond the school year they spend in her classroom.”

The All-Star Teachers Program recognizes area educators for their exceptional classroom efforts and positive impact on students. The honor is for teachers who are making a significant difference in the lives of students across the region by providing engaging instruction and curriculum, encouraging lifelong learning and inspiring a passion for education beyond the classroom.

“My son was never so excited to learn about contractions, when he came home so excited that Mrs. Bogus turned their classroom into an operating room, joining words using Band-Aids as apostrophes,” Wilson said. “Our boys would come home regularly sharing maker-space designs and creations they completed with Mrs. Bogus using the engineering design process and working as a team with other classmates.”

This past offseason, teachers were nominated through pirates.com for a chance to be named an All-Star Teacher. Nominations were asked to address ways teachers demonstrated excellence in four categories: innovative, outstanding, worldly and academic.

In addition to a $1,000 classroom grant, each teacher is receiving a $100 gift card for personal use, a certificate to display in his or her classroom and an invitation to be recognized for their achievement during an on-field pregame ceremony at a future Pirates game.

“It’s easy to be inspired to make learning fun and meaningful when I work at such an amazing district with the best students, families and staff,” Bogus said. “To be a part of such a supportive and loving environment at Streams Elementary has truly been such a blessing in my life. I feel so lucky to be able to say that I truly love my job and love coming to work every day.”

The surprise celebration of the All-Star honor normally would take place at each winning teacher’s respective school, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pirates and their partners worked to coordinate online meetings to surprise each teacher and celebrate their accomplishments.

“We surprised Mrs. Bogus with a fake Zoom training,” Miller said. “Her mom, dad, husband, son, colleagues and her students were all there awaiting her and the surprise announcement.”

Also joining in the video call were members of the selection committee, including Pirates infielder Kevin Newman.

The teacher recognition program is sponsored by the Pittsburgh Pirates, Pirates Charities, Chevron and The Grable Foundation, along with support from the Allegheny Intermediate Unit and Intermediate Unit One.