CAPE MAY, N.J. – One of the winners of the Coast Guard’s annual Hometown Heroes Award was recognized in a surprise ceremony, Friday, April 29.
Capt. Todd Prestidge, commanding officer of Coast Guard Training Center Cape May, surprised Anna Shustack, an earth science teacher at the Teitelman Junior High School, with a custom made plaque that recognized her as one of this year’s Hometown Hero award winners.
“The connection between the Coast Guard and the community has never been stronger,” said Prestidge. “Since we have been, officially, a Coast Guard Community, it’s awards and recognitions like this that actually mean something now.”
The Hometown Hero award is part of the Coast Guard Community events that celebrate the service’s deep-rooted connection with Cape May County. Congress approved the designation for Cape May County as an official Coast Guard Community in 2014.
“We’re just so proud to be part of a Coast Guard community,” said Shustack. “We love Cape May and we love our Coast Guard.”
Shustack was nominated for her diligent and superior performance as a teacher at Teitelman where she has worked for the past 23 years. Having not only taught many Coast Guard children in those years, she is also involved in Tietelman’s Mentor Program, and has helped create a successful summer science program for children ages six to 12 called the “Super Science Camp,” which has ran successfully for the last nine years.
The other Hometown Hero Award winner, Nelson Brown, will be presented his award during a ceremony to be held at a later date.
Brown is a Coast Guard Auxiliarist who routinely volunteers his time to the Coast Guard as a chef for the Family & Friends dinners and breakfasts for the graduating recruit’s families as well as a tour guide for the training center.
The training center will be hosting the 2nd Annual Coast Guard Community Festival, Saturday, which will include base tours, ship tours, vendors, children’s activities, search and rescue demonstrations and much more.
The festival will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is free to the public.