The Baltimore Ravens and M&T Bank announced Friday their 2021 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 outstanding service to their school, students and community.
The 2021 Touchdown for Teachers finalists are:
Muhammad Benyameen – Hampden Elementary/Middle School (grand prize winner)
Stephen Martin– Kennedy Krieger School, Fairmount Campus
Suzi Young– Homewood Center
The grand prize was awarded to Muhammad Benyameen, who is the physical education and health education teacher at Hampden Elementary/Middle School (HEMS) in Baltimore.
As a Baltimore City Public Schools physical education and health teacher for the past six years, Mr. Benyameen, affectionately regarded as "Mr. Moo" by his pre-k through eighth-graders, has dedicated his time to ensuring all students at HEMS, in addition to their family members, have the opportunity to stay physically active and have fun while doing so. Despite the obstacles of teaching physical education virtually during a pandemic, "Mr. Moo" has provided his students with weekly videos focusing on gratitude, family, community and mindfulness, in addition to physical fitness programming. In addition to the day-to-day instruction and video, Mr. Benyameen started an after-school fitness club and regularly organizes school-wide volunteer efforts, such as cleanup days and gardening efforts to improve the school grounds.
Moving forward, Mr. Benyameen plans to bring new resources to the students, families and staff of HEMS, including the All Kids Bike program and Girls on the Run. In a year where it was especially hard to engage students, "Mr. Moo" went above and beyond to support the physical and mental health of the HEMS community.
The three finalists will each receive a personalized Ravens jersey, Bose headphones and a Dunkin' gift card. The runners-up will also be awarded $1,000 in grant funds directed to their schools, while HEMS will be presented with a check for $4,000 in Mr. Benyameen's name. Additionally, "Mr. Moo" will receive a classroom visit by a Ravens' player, accompanied by mascot Poe and cheerleaders during the 2021-22 school year, as long as it is safe to do so. (Details to follow the week of the event.)
"First and foremost, I think it's important to acknowledge the commitment of all teachers who've had to completely change the ways they work and engage with their students during this challenging school year," stated Augie Chiasera, M&T Bank's regional president for greater Baltimore. "The dedication displayed by these resilient teachers is truly inspiring. That's why we're honored to be able to recognize a few teachers who stand out among a remarkable crowd nominated for the Touchdown for Teachers program this year."
About M&T Bank
M&T Bank Corporation is a financial holding company headquartered in Buffalo, New York. M&T's principal banking subsidiary, M&T Bank, operates banking offices in New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Trust-related services are provided by M&T's Wilmington Trust-affiliated companies and by M&T Bank.