Dec. 1, 2017

Fifteen Indiana-based educators will be honored on the field at Lucas Oil Stadium during the Big Ten Football Championship Game on Saturday, Dec. 2.

Five of the teachers are with Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS).

In addition to being honored in front of a crowd of college football fans, each teacher —selected for their work in the classroom — will also receive funding to enhance educational efforts in their respective classrooms and schools.

Madeline Mason, a Design & Project Lead the Way teacher at Center for Inquiry School 84, is excited about the recognition but especially the $6,000 Donor’s Choose gift card she’ll receive to complete her project: Building STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics).

“This is my school’s first year having a STEM/STEAM-focused program (as well as my first year at CFI 84 and implementing this program). We will be receiving materials for STEAM projects (and even a 3D printer and two classroom iPads), as well as resources for improving our classroom environment such as yoga ball chairs, bean bags, more storage and organizational systems,” said Mason. “I will also be able to use a portion of the funds for professional development on my chosen areas of interest, which will be a Mindfulness for Educators workshop and a training in STEM education.”

The Big Ten worked with the College Football Playoff Foundation and the Indiana Sports Corp to select the 15 teachers — from kindergarten through eighth-grade — through the foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers program. The primary platform for the CFP Foundation, Extra Yard for Teachers elevates the teaching profession by inspiring and empowering teachers through the implementation of programs in four focus areas: resources, recognition, recruitment and professional development.

“The Big Ten is thrilled to once again partner with the College Football Playoff Foundation and Indiana Sports Corp to recognize teachers who play an integral role in creating educational opportunities for the youth across the state of Indiana,” said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. “We look forward to welcoming these individuals to Indianapolis … to thank them for the commitment and service that they have provided to their classrooms and communities.”

Other IPS winners are:

  • Laura Commins, Lew Wallace School 107
  • Beth DeSalvo, Center for Inquiry School 27
  • Bethany Jackson, Henry W. Longfellow Medical/STEM Middle School 28
  • Amy Lapka, Brookside School 54

Mason, who also serves as the head volleyball coach at Shortridge International Baccalaureate High School, said she is excited to be able to add additional value to her classroom at CFI 84. “Mostly, I am excited to see what my students come up with as far as projects and re-designing our classroom space.”