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The Capital District Jets, the merged high school hockey team with players from Columbia, Averill Park, Colonie, Shaker and Tamarac, celebrated more than a win on Friday evening at the Albany County Hockey Facility. They honored educators as a part of Teacher Appreciation Night.

The Columbia players including Tiernan Batzel, Patrick Hill, Matthew Kardash and Joshua McKinney each invited one of their favorite teachers to the game and then presented them with a gift during a pregame ceremony.

The Jets went on to win the game 7-3 against Burnt Hills/Ballston Spa. Mr. McKinney scored two goals and three assists and Mr. Kardash had one assist.

Teacher Appreciation Night

Tiernan Batzel and Science Teacher Mr. Ciccone
Tiernan Batzel and Columbia Science Teacher Mr. Ciccone

“I am very humbled to be nominated by Tiernan Baltzel,” said Mr. Ciccone. “The Jets recognized teachers from five area districts and played a fantastic game winning 7-3.”

Patrick Hill and Science Teacher Mrs. Campos
Patrick Hill and Goff Science Teacher Mrs. Campos

“I was honored to be among the teachers chosen by the students for this team,” said Mrs. Campos. “It was great to watch some hockey afterward and see all the hard work they put in as they played!”

Matthew Kardash and Social Studies Teacher Mr. Lapolla
Matthew Kardash and Columbia Social Studies Teacher Mr. Lapolla

“I was honored to be selected by my student, Matt Kardash, for Teacher Appreciation Night at the Jets’ hockey game,” said Mr. Lapolla. “It was a lot of fun watching the team play!”

Joshua McKinney and Science Teacher Mrs. Ross
Joshua McKinney and Columbia Science Teacher Mrs. Ross

“It was an absolute honor to be chosen by Joshua McKinney for the Jets’ Teacher Appreciation Night!” said Mrs. Ross. “It is difficult to put into words how good it made me feel to see the pride in my own children’s eyes when I was recognized at this special event. We also really enjoyed watching Josh and the rest of his teammates on the ice. Go Jets!”