The Baltimore Ravens and M&T Bank have announced their Touchdown for Teachers finalists and grand prize winner. The program recognizes and honors local teachers for their leadership, dedication and commitment to education, and for their outstanding service to their school, students and community.
The 2016 Touchdown for Teachers finalists are:
- Susan Routson – Runnymede Elementary School (grand prize winner)
- Sandy Bixby – Edgemere Elementary School
- Caitlin Myers – South Hagerstown High School
- Tina Taylor – Washington High School
- Jessica Wurzbacher – Padonia International Elementary School
The grand prize was awarded to Susan Routson, who teaches physical education to kindergarten through fifth grade students at Runnymede Elementary School in Westminster, Md.
Mrs. Routson has been an educator for over 30 years and has worked at Runnymede Elementary School since it opened its doors in 1994. She is a member of the Maryland Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MAHPERD) and was honored for excellence in physical education and nominated as a Carroll County Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Teacher.
Outside the classroom, Mrs. Routson teaches an after school tennis camp and previously coached lacrosse in her community for many years. She is known for her passion to fight hunger, and 18 years ago started a school wide walkathon to raise funds for Carroll County Food Sunday. She later added a basketball event to the fundraising efforts in which faculty from Runnyemede competed against faculty from another local elementary school. Through efforts organized by Mrs. Routson, over $145,000 has been raised for Carroll County Food Sunday.
The five finalists each received a personalized Ravens jersey and an award certificate. The runners-up were also awarded $500 in grant funds, while Routson was presented with a check for $2,000 in grant funds. Additionally, she will receive a classroom visit by a Ravens' coach or player, accompanied by Ravens mascot Poe and cheerleaders before the end of the 2016 school year. (Details to follow the week of event.)
"Teachers play a vital role in the development of our young people, and it's important to recognize the outstanding work our teachers are doing in the community," said Augie Chiasera, President of M&T Bank's Greater Baltimore/Chesapeake Region. "Teachers often turn lives around and inspire our young people to reach their potential. The Touchdown for Teachers program is a way to celebrate the positive impact teachers have on our students and the entire community."