The Steel Valley School District is a small public school district located southeast of Pittsburgh. Last week Charlie Batch stopped by unannounced with school supplies for teachers and students. Steve Singer of the Steel Valley Education Association wore a letter to the editor of one of the local papers* about just how great Batch is.
Charlie Batch is my hero. There. I’ve said it.
We live in an age when penny-pinching politicians slash the education budgets for poor children while leaving the progeny of the wealthy relatively untouched.
We live in a time when the government is more concerned with private companies making profits off of our childrens’ education than the quality of the education they receive.
We live in an era in which sound educational policy involves segregating students with tuition vouchers instead of fixing the problems our public schools face shackled to federal mandates that cause the high drop out rates they claim to be an attempt at staunching.
But even today – in an educational dark age when the blind lead the rest of us over a cliff in the name “accountability” – we still have men like Charlie Batch.
His record of charitable works rivals his achievements on the football field. His Best of the Batch Foundation has been a saving grace for children from the Mon-Valley and beyond.
However, I think his quiet heroism is best exemplified by his visit to Steel Valley School District this week. Without fanfare he came to classrooms in the elementary and middle schools dropping off generous Giant Eagle bags full of much needed school supplies for teachers and students. They just contained simple things – pens, pencils, paper, paper clips, hand sanitizer, tissues, etc. It was the kind of thoughtful donation anyone could make, but it was a Steelers Quarterback and hometown hero making it.
Moreover, he didn’t stay for a “thank you.” He shook a few hands and went on his way.
Our so-called leaders could learn a lot from Charlie Batch.
The comment’s on Batch’s Facebook post go on about how beloved Batch is in Western Pennsylvania. While the politics of the letter are impossible to miss, it’s still a great story about Charlie Batch. He’s been the Steelers’ backup quarterback since 2002 after spending 4 years in Detroit as a starter. Between Batch’s civic work and Ben Roethlisberger’s ability to win football games, Pittsburgh is doing alright in the QB department.