By all accounts, Marie Murphy is one heck of a teacher. Just ask her students at John Paul II Regional School who, today, made sure she knew it.
Gathered in the school's gymnasium for what Mrs. Murphy thought was a pep rally honoring the Phillies, the students, together with team executives, gave her the second biggest surprise of her life.
"Our MVP teacher doesn't really know that she's the reason we're all here today," Phillies announcer Jim Jackson said.
The reason, no doubt, was the biggest surprise Mrs. Murphy has ever had to confront. A call from her daughter on March 15th telling her her house was on fire
"When I got there, there were flames coming out of the house. There was nothing you could do, but sit there and watch it burn," Mary said.
Inside the house was a lifetime of team memorabilia collected by this consummate Phillies fan including World Series Tickets, bubbleheads, jerseys of favorite players past and present. All of it, destroyed.
But Mrs. Murphy wasn't about to let the fire take one of her most prized possessions - her season tickets.
"I had to climb under a desk above the burning wood and get them, because I knew where they were," Mary said.
"I almost didn't believe it. It's an unbelievable feat and she's obviously a huge fan and ran into save her seasons and we just wanted to reward her today and thank her for her unbelievable support," Phillies Director of Season Tickets Derek Schuster said.
Phillies officials say Marie didn't have to go back for the tickets; they would have gladly reprinted them for her.
Nonetheless, they are giving her new tickets, a new jersey, and a framed, signed picture.
The story of this teacher is a lesson in loyalty for all her students.