July 28, 2014

Medina
Mostly cloudy
65°F

Cavs honor Towslee Elementary teacher with ‘Head of the Class’ award

C. R. Towslee Elementary School kindergarten teacher Jackie Mason, center, is congratulated by Cleveland Cavaliers mascot Moondog and team “Hype Man” Ahmaad Crump. Mason was selected for the “Head of the Class” award and was presented with tickets to a Cavs game next week and a $500 donation for her classroom. (NICK GLUNT / GAZETTE)

C. R. Towslee Elementary School kindergarten teacher Jackie Mason, center, is congratulated by Cleveland Cavaliers mascot Moondog and team “Hype Man” Ahmaad Crump. Mason was selected for the “Head of the Class” award and was presented with tickets to a Cavs game next week and a $500 donation for her classroom. (NICK GLUNT / GAZETTE)

Cleveland Cavaliers’ mascot Moondog surprised a C.R. Towslee Elementary School teacher Friday, honoring her with a “Head of the Class” award and tickets to Tuesday’s Cavs game.

Jackie Mason, a kindergarten teacher in her eighth year at the school, was ecstatic to hear the news. The Head of the Class award is presented monthly by the Cavs to exceptional teachers across Northeast Ohio.

“I had no idea,” she said. “I’m shaking.”

Mason — a former Ashland University basketball star — said she’s a big fan of the Cavs.

Cavaliers announcer and “Hype Man” Ahmaad Crump joined Moondog in telling Mason she had won two tickets to the game, as well as $500 to spend on her classroom.

In addition, she would be recognized on the basketball court before the game, where she’d give the ball to the Cav’s team captain.

Cavs spokeswoman Jaime Diewald said teachers must be nominated by their peers in order to be considered for the Head of the Class award. Diewald said Mason was nominated anonymously three or four times.

“The nominations said she’s a very hard-working teacher and is very well-respected by her peers,” Diewald said.

Towslee Principal Lisa Mayle said she was told Mason had won about two weeks ago, but had to keep it secret. She said she was so excited about it that she had trouble not spilling the beans.

“She’s an outstanding teacher,” Mayle said. “She really goes above and beyond for her class, and she’s just great with the kids.”

Mayle said the award wasn’t the first time Mason was recognized. A few years ago, she was selected as Brunswick school district’s teacher of the year.

Mason was the second teacher in Medina County to receive the Head of the Class award this year. Last month, Highland Middle School math teacher Andy Gopp was honored.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.