James Paxton paid a visit to his former elementary school as the Seattle Mariners caravan rolled into Hawthorne Elementary Wednesday afternoon.
The Major League Baseball pitcher from Ladner joined teammates as they stressed the importance of being good citizens.
Paxton told the students that it’s important to be drug free if you want to reach your dreams.
“Realizing your dreams takes a lot of focus and determination. You have to be able to learn in the classroom and listen to your teachers. And on the sports field you have to be focused and listen to your coaches,” he said.
“I was out there once sitting just like you guys and being drug free helped me to realize my dreams, play baseball and make it to the Mariners.”
Several students presented Paxton with a card and an old school uniform as a thank-you for his visit, while retired teacher Jamie Robinson returned to welcome Paxton back to the school.
“Even in elementary school here at such a young age, this Hawthorne student demonstrated that if he set goals and worked hard to achieve them, he could not only follow his passion, but he could realize his dreams,” said Robinson.
“He was and is a great role model. I’m very proud to welcome him home.”