Siblings Erick McAllister and Kim Pettit grew up playing school, with big sister Pettit always the teacher.

Now a fifth-grade teacher at Dr. Joyanne D. Miller Elementary School in Egg Harbor Township, Pettit said she knew from childhood she wanted to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps. Eleanor Bringhurst taught third to fifth grades in Northfield.

“We used to go in the summer to help her ready the room for the school year. That piqued my interest,” said Pettit, who grew up with McAllister in Upper Township. She graduated from Ocean City High School in 1990; he in 1994.

It took McAllister, an English teacher at Pleasantville High School, a little longer to decide to go into education. He caught the teaching bug in college, he said.

Pettit was happy to hear McAllister was chosen Teacher of the Year at his school. When she found out she, too, was chosen for the honor at her school, she texted him, “Save me a seat at the banquet.”

“I didn’t understand what she was talking about,” McAllister said, amazed that both would be chosen at the same time.

McAllister’s wife, Erin, is program director at Gilda’s Club in Linwood. They live in Ocean City with their son Jack, 4; and daughter, Izzy, 2.

Pettit lives in Marmora, Upper Township, with her children, Kiley, 10, and Sean, 8.

Blueberry farm honored

The DiMeo family of Columbia Fruit Farms in Hammonton was awarded Blueberry Grower of the Year by the Vegetable Growers Association of New Jersey on Feb. 6 at the New Jersey State Agricultural Convention in Atlantic City.

Michael DiMeo Sr. established the farm in 1910, working alongside his sons, Anthony Sr., Michael Jr. and William Sr., who eventually took over.

Now headed by Michael DiMeo’s grandsons, Anthony Jr. and William Jr., the family grows 400 acres of blueberries, selling almost all for the fresh market under the Top Crop brand.

Anthony and William’s sons Erik, Michael and Bill III are now learning the business.

Community work recognized

Ed Kline, resident and chief executive officer of Kline Construction Co. Inc., will be honored for his community contributions by the Milton & Betty Katz Jewish Community Center of Atlantic and Cape May counties at its 2013 annual gala, 5:30 p.m. Sunday, April 21, at The Chelsea in Atlantic City.

For information on sponsorship opportunities and for the gala, contact Julie Fink at 609-822-1167, ext. 159, or at jfink@jccatlantic.org.