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Press Release: Baltimore Ravens and M&T Bank Announce Touchdown for Teachers Winner

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The Baltimore Ravens and M&T Bank announced the finalists and grand prize winner for their 11th Annual Touchdown for Teachers program, which recognizes local teachers for their leadership, dedication and commitment to education and for outstanding service to their community.

The 2024 Touchdown for Teachers finalists are:

Jaime Harpster – Padonia International Elementary School (grand prize winner)

Barbara Howard – Montebello Elementary/Middle School

Devin Perkins – Colonel Richardson Middle School

The grand prize was awarded to Jaime Harpster, a fourth-grade teacher from Padonia International Elementary School.

In the classroom, Harpster is known for her commitment to the school, students and their families where she fosters an inclusive environment for students from various cultures. As an example, she took a Spanish for educators' class to help her not only communicate with students in the classroom, but also to learn more about them outside of the learning environment. Harpster took her passion for diversity and obtained her master's degree in English for Speakers of Other Leagues (ESOL). Outside of the classroom, she runs three extracurricular clubs and has also led Earth Day cleanups and paint nights to bring students and families together. Additionally, she has worked with local food pantries to support students at the school, while also starting her own collections to help them afford yearbooks and clothing for winter concerts.

"For the past several years, Jaime Harpster has served the students, parents and community of Cockeysville, Md," Padonia International Elementary principal Daniel Pizzo stated. "Her impact has gone far beyond that of your typical fourth grade teacher. Mrs. Harpster dedicates her time, money and passion to causes that impact the community, and builds students who are life-long learners, environmentally conscious and future leaders. Through her academic and community programming, Mrs. Harpster celebrates the unique differences of the students at Padonia International Elementary School. Through green school initiatives, to team bonding, to charitable acts, and child centered activities, Mrs. Harpster has earned her stripes as a community and school leader."

Harpster receives $5,000 in grant funds, payable to her school, a school visit by Baltimore Ravens OLB Odafe Oweh, Ravens Cheerleaders and Poe and a customized Ravens jersey. The other finalists will each receive a personalized Ravens jersey and $1,000 in grant funds, payable to their schools. All grant funds will be jointly provided by M&T Bank and the Ravens.

"M&T Bank is proud to sponsor Touchdown for Teachers, an essential program providing direct funding to teachers for the classroom resources they need for Baltimore's students to thrive," said Augie Chiasera, M&T Bank's regional president for Greater Baltimore. "My dad was a public-school teacher. I know the resources educators need to successfully teach students every day. It's a privilege to sponsor this program with the NFL and Baltimore Ravens to shine a bright light on our teachers."

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