Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

NFL's Randall McDaniel, Desmond Howard thank teachers during College Football Playoff's teacher summit

TAMPA — Randall McDaniel is an NFL hall-of-famer who spent years on the field as an offensive guard. Now he spends his days wrangling kindergartners.

During a summit for teachers on Saturday, he was asked which career is more difficult. He laughed.

"Football was easy."

As Alabama and Clemson fanatics walked the streets of Tampa awaiting Monday's big game, the College Football Playoff Foundation honored dedicated teachers. The morning focused on the "student" half of the student-athlete, as nearly 1,000 educators packed into a Tampa Convention Center auditorium to be thanked and listen to speakers during the foundation's "Extra Yard for Teachers Summit."

"When we started the College Football Playoff, we realized we needed to think about a community investment," said foundation CEO Britton Banowsky. "We talked about a lot of different causes, but education felt right."

Then, they narrowed it to teachers.

The summit has been held in tandem with the playoff weekend since the first game in 2015.

Tampa's summit included surprise visits (such as country star Clare Dunn kicking things off with a rendition of The Band's "The Weight") and passionate speakers. It was free to area teachers and also attended by those who won "teacher of the year" in their respective state or U.S. territory.

"This was an opportunity to just say thank you," Banowsky said, "and send them back into the classroom after winter break energized, thinking about education in a different way."

McDaniel wasn't the only former NFL player to make an appearance. Earlier in the program, ESPN analyst Desmond Howard took the stage to share his thanks for his own teachers, and the ones who now educate his children.

"The ones I remember most are not the ones who just stuck to their discipline," he said. "They are the ones who went beyond."

Saturday showcased the teachers who went "beyond," including Pinellas County teacher Lamar Mills. Mills, who works as a behavioral coach at Woodlawn Elementary, used his stage time to call for more diversity among teachers to better connect with students, earning a standing ovation from some in the crowd when he concluded his speech.

The U.S. teacher of the year, Jahana Hayes of Connecticut, reminded her colleagues they had to empower children to be the change they want to see. Sports radio host Rachel Baribeau encouraged the educators to find blessings in their greatest fears.

Lori Bradner, a Hillsborough County teacher and NASA educator, came out in space garb, explaining that teachers are also magicians.

"You make worlds that are devoid of limitations," she told the crowd. "Teachers, that is your magic."

Contact Sara DiNatale at [email protected] Follow @sara_dinatale

NFL's Randall McDaniel, Desmond Howard thank teachers during College Football Playoff's teacher summit 01/07/17 [Last modified: Saturday, January 7, 2017 4:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. No. 16 USF hangs on at Tulane, off to first 7-0 start

    College

    NEW ORLEANS — After half a season of mismatches, USF found itself in a grudge match Saturday night.

    USF quarterback Quinton Flowers (9) runs for a touchdown against Tulane during the first half of an NCAA college football game in New Orleans, La., Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (AP Photo/Derick E. Hingle) LADH103
  2. Lightning buries Penguins (w/video)

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Ryan Callahan spent a lot of time last season rehabilitating his injured hip alongside Steven Stamkos, who was rehabbing a knee after season-ending surgery. During those hours, Callahan noticed two things about Stamkos: his hunger and his excitement to return this season.

    Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Slater Koekkoek (29) advances the puck through the neutral zone during the first period of Saturday???‚??„?s (10/21/17) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  3. Spain planning to strip Catalonia of its autonomy

    World

    BARCELONA, Spain — The escalating confrontation over Catalonia's independence drive took its most serious turn Saturday as Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain announced he would remove the leadership of the restive region and initiate a process of direct rule by the central government in Madrid.

    Demonstrators in Barcelona protest the decision to take control of Catalonia to derail the independence movement.
  4. Funeral held for soldier at center of political war of words (w/video)

    Nation

    COOPER CITY — Mourners remembered not only a U.S. soldier whose combat death in Africa led to a political fight between President Donald Trump and a Florida congresswoman but his three comrades who died with him.

    The casket of Sgt. La David T. Johnson of Miami Gardens, who was killed in an ambush in Niger. is wheeled out after a viewing at the Christ The Rock Church, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017  in Cooper City, Fla. (Pedro Portal/Miami Herald via AP) FLMIH102
  5. Chemical industry insider now shapes EPA policy

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — For years, the Environmental Protection Agency has struggled to prevent an ingredient once used in stain-resistant carpets and nonstick pans from contaminating drinking water.

    This is the Dow chemical plant near Freeport, Texas. Before the 2016 election, Dow had been in talks with the EPA to phase out the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which is blamed for disabilities in children. Dow is no longer willing to compromise.