Saturday, January 20, 2018
Education

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

 
Comments
USF leaders move to calm fears over consolidation plan

USF leaders move to calm fears over consolidation plan

ST. PETERSBURG — Holding a piece of computer paper and a microphone, the leader of the University of South Florida St. Petersburg began a Friday afternoon forum by repeating the USF administration’s new mantra.He reassured the crowd before him that t...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Crews Lake thespians overcome the odds

SPRING HILL — It’s 8:30 a.m. — "homeroom" period in school speak — when kids in the Crews Lake Middle School drama club file into an empty chorus room to begin rehearsing under the direction of language arts teacher Kristen Sykora. There’s only 25 m...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Cuts hit top school leaders as Hillsborough sheds three six-figure salaries

Cuts hit top school leaders as Hillsborough sheds three six-figure salaries

TAMPA — Hillsborough County school superintendent Jeff Eakins on Friday announced the first in a series of belt-tightening moves that include the elimination of three six-figure positions.Jobs now held by Wynne Tye and Larry Sykes will no longer exis...
Published: 01/19/18
Tampa Bay schools warn parents about flu activity, dangers

Tampa Bay schools warn parents about flu activity, dangers

The Florida Department of Health has reported a sharp increase in flu activity in the last several weeks, prompting area schools to send out letters warning parents about the virus. At least two districts, however, say that flu activity in their scho...
Published: 01/19/18

More than 400 apply to Pasco technical high school

School choice for 2018-19 is in full swing, and district officials said they’ve been pleased with the interest they’ve seen so far.The window for applying to the district’s magnet schools closed Jan. 12, except for applications for the new Wendell Kr...
Published: 01/18/18
Read the report on the fatal FSU frat party: ‘The most intoxicated’ they had ever been

Read the report on the fatal FSU frat party: ‘The most intoxicated’ they had ever been

"On Nov. 3, 2017, the Tallahassee Police Department responded to 1012 Buena Vista Drive … in reference to a death investigation."So begins a charging document in the case of Andrew Coffey, the 20-year-old Florida State University student who was foun...
Published: 01/18/18
In St. Petersburg, skeptics sneer at plan to concentrate USF power in Tampa

In St. Petersburg, skeptics sneer at plan to concentrate USF power in Tampa

In the state capitol on Wednesday, lawmakers breezed through the bullet points of a higher education bill. They skimmed past a hot-button proposal to consolidate the University of South Florida System into a single university without a peep of pushba...
Published: 01/18/18
Five things to know about teacher pay negotiations in Hillsborough

Five things to know about teacher pay negotiations in Hillsborough

TAMPA — They were hoping to receive between $15 million and $17 million in scheduled pay raises. But the Hillsborough County school district says it can’t afford to give its teachers anywhere near that much, while the teachers say they deserve nothin...
Published: 01/17/18
Updated: 01/18/18
Young Pasco teacher faces cancer with support of students

Young Pasco teacher faces cancer with support of students

NEW PORT RICHEY — At age 28, things were really shaping up for Joel Santos-Gonzalez. Fulfilling his lifelong dream of becoming a teacher, he had just completed his third year at Gulf Middle School."I always liked to talk to people on an intellectual ...
Published: 01/17/18
Updated: 01/18/18
In Pinellas and beyond, deadlines for school choice are closing in

In Pinellas and beyond, deadlines for school choice are closing in

It’s decision time in Pinellas County and other local school districts as several school choice deadlines are upon us.For Pinellas families who want to apply for a magnet, fundamental or high school career program for the 2018-19 school year, the dea...
Published: 01/17/18
Updated: 01/18/18