Liberty teachers target turkeys

Eowyn Ream, Staff Writer

Standing as still as a statue, Liberty math teacher Randall Imes aims his air rifle at the turkey-shaped target. Competing for a turkey-topped trophy and a $50 Safeway gift card to cover Thanksgiving dinner expenses, he pulls the trigger, and a ping echoes through the gym.

The Turkey Shoot, held on October 24 and run by NJROTC, is a new Thanksgiving-themed event for teachers. The winner, Imes, scored 95 out of a potential 100 points despite having never held a rifle before, causing him to just barely beat Liberty’s librarian, Lora Gillingham, in the tiebreaker. 

“I was doing something I’d never done before, using equipment I didn’t know anything about, in a shooting position that I wouldn’t have chosen,” Imes said.

Now proudly displaying the trophy in his classroom, Imes is thrilled for when Liberty staff’s newest tradition will return.

“I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to be the target next year,” Imes said. “I was thinking I’d dress up in a turkey costume and run back and forth across the gym.”

Overall, the event was a success, and NJROTC anticipates more participation in the coming years. Changes will be made to next year’s Turkey Shoot, but the details are classified. 

“Get your practice on, staff,” NJROTC instructor Matthew Spears said. “You’ll need it.”

Liberty teachers are not the only ones who need to practice. NJROTC cadets, who helped teach the participating staff members how to shoot, practice several times a week in preparation for their competition season and were impressed by the skill they saw at the Turkey Shoot.

“I honestly thought the teachers were going to do worse than the cadets, but they did better than a lot of us,” cadet Irene Miller said.

As a new community-building tradition, NJROTC’s Turkey Shoot offers another way for Liberty teachers to connect with their coworkers as well as students in the NJROTC program. 

“Thank you to Mr. Brownson for letting us do this, and thank you to the staff who came out and supported,” Spears said.

Gobbler games: Liberty staff aim at the target and compete to win the Turkey Shoot, held in the lower aux gym on October 24. Math teacher Randall Imes placed first, just barely beating librarian Lora Gillingham in the tiebreaker. Photo courtesy of Irene Miller.

Top 5 Teachers


Randall Imes 95
Lora Gillingham 95
Eddie Bravo 93
Donovan Osborn 92
Matthew Spears 92