College Football Playoff hosts summit for teachers

By Sara Belsole, Reporter
Last Updated: Saturday, January 07, 2017, 1:44 PM EST

It may be a weekend for football, but teachers are showing they’re the true champions.

The College Football Playoff Foundation hosted the Extra Yard for Teachers Summit at the Convention Center Saturday. It’s a day for the foundation to recognize the hard work teachers do on the front lines of education.

"We know they are underappreciated in our communities so it’s really important for us to hold them up and empower them, inspire them and encourage them,” Britton Banowsky, Executive Director for the College Football Playoff Foundation, said.

Almost 1,000 teachers from across the country attended the summit to hear guest speakers and watch special performances.

"It’s really uplifting, impactful, powerful for educators because we don’t all the time feel celebrated so this is a good reminder of why we do what we do,” Anna Morris, the 2016 Mississippi Teacher of the Year, said.

Former Heisman Trophy winner Desmond was one of the guest speakers for the event. He spoke about the importance of education for children and student-athletes.

Local teachers also took the stage, like Ashely Grimes, the Instructional Staff Developer for Physical Education for Pinellas County Schools.

“It’s so great because on the grand scale football is huge, every Saturday college football, and it’s awesome that the partnership came together because the impact on this community is huge,” Grimes said.

The foundation also set up a teachers lounge at the convention center for teachers with fun activities like chair massages, a local ideal exchange and resources from Tampa-based teachers.