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Cockeysville: Baltimore Ravens lineman Orlando Brown Jr. reads to students at Pot Spring Elementary

Orlando Brown Jr. of the Baltimore Ravens reads to a group of Pre-K and Kindergarten students at Pot Spring Elementary School on Monday, Dec. 2.
Orlando Brown Jr. of the Baltimore Ravens reads to a group of Pre-K and Kindergarten students at Pot Spring Elementary School on Monday, Dec. 2. (Courtesy Pot Spring Elementary)

Bright and early last Monday morning, students at Pot Spring Elementary were treated to a surprise visit from Orlando Brown, Junior, a tackle for the Baltimore Ravens.

It was a homecoming for Brown who is a proud 2007 graduate of the school and he shared with the students the story of his journey to the NFL which was described by Principal Jane Martin as a “message of perseverance, hard work and gratitude.”

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Fresh off a victory over the San Francisco 49ers, Brown had a full schedule during his visit to the school. He started the day by greeting students as they arrived, then jumped into the morning announcement video broadcast. He visited the cafeteria, ate lunch with students and spent time with each grade level, reading stories and fielding questions. Brown, with his infectious grin and gleeful giggle, made an excellent guest reader engaging a room full of one hundred pre-k and kindergarteners with a spirited rendition of the book “A Big Guy Took My Ball.”

Brown enjoyed visiting his old classrooms, even if his 6-foot-8 body can no longer fit in an elementary school desk and seeing his former teachers, many of whom still teach at the school.

As teacher Michelle Doyle observed, “He was a sweetheart when I taught him in third grade and a true gentleman today. What an inspiration and wonderful role model for our students.”

It sounds like it was a wonderful day for everyone at Pot Spring and as teacher Laura Fuhrman noted “Orlando is still the big teddy bear I knew in first grade.” Go Ravens!

Ever since she was a little girl, Morgan Holden of Springdale, has loved the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and even promised to someday march in the parade herself. Morgan, a Dulaney High School junior with a passion for dance, has now kept that vow not once, but twice as she has performed with the Spirit of America Dance Stars in 2018 and 2019.

The group features 650 teen-aged dancers recruited from around the country with Morgan as the sole representative from Maryland.

In preparation for the parade, she has put in hours of rehearsal to perfect the dance routine, first learning the choreography at home via video and then for several days in New York City in the days leading up to the parade. The troupe has a coveted spot in the parade marching just before Santa Claus ending with a dance performance in Herald Square. Morgan embraced the marching and the dance and could even be spotted during the television broadcast which is seen by over 3.5 million people.

Morgan has danced seriously for the past decade and is a member of both the Dance Company and Dance Team at Dulaney High School. She also dances locally at The Moving Company Dance Center and hopes to continue dancing through college and even beyond. Morgan is also hoping for a parade three-peat so be on the lookout for her next year in the Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade!

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