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Big Ten CommunicationsPublished: 11/30/2023, Last updated: 3/15/2024
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College Football Playoff Foundation and Big Ten Conference Team to Support Educational Initiatives in Indiana

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INDIANAPOLIS The College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation and the Big Ten Conference have extended their partnership to provide funding for educational initiatives in the state of Indiana. Through this activation and in conjunction with Extra Yard for Teachers, the CFP Foundation and the Big Ten will recognize the selected Indiana teachers at the 2023 Big Ten Football Championship Game presented by Discover on December 2. The funding will enhance educational efforts in the selected teachers’ respective classrooms and schools.

The Big Ten worked with Indiana Sports Corp to select 15 teachers from 14 different schools throughout the state of Indiana. Each of the teachers (kindergarten through eighth grade) will be awarded a grant to assist them with educational projects.

The following 15 teachers will attend and be recognized at the Big Ten Football Championship Game:

Erin BangelClarks Creek Elementary School
Andrew BartolacciGeoge Julian School 57
Christina BrockLew Wallace School 107
Claire BrownMayflower Mill Elementary School
Tyrelle CollinsJames and Rosemary Phalen Leadership Academy
Jocelyn de LeonWoodbrook Elementary School
Tonja EvansJames and Rosemary Phalen Leadership Academy
Kelly JohnstonEdgelea Elementary School
Megan MathewSwitzerland County Middle School
Crystal MikelsBradie Shrum Elementary School
Sandy PadgettSunny Heights Elementary School
Melanie PratherLafayette Tecumseh Junior High School
Shari RohrPrairie Trace Elementary School
Toby ShirarRhoades Elementary School
Donnell ShrewsburyCedar Elementary School

Big Ten Conference ( is an association of world-class universities whose member institutions share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching, and public service. Founded in 1896, Big Ten Conference has sustained a comprehensive set of shared practices and policies that enforce the priority of academics in the lives of students competing in intercollegiate athletics and emphasize the values of integrity, fairness, and competitiveness. The broad-based programs of the 14 Big Ten Conference institutions will provide over $200 million in direct financial support to more than 9,800 students for more than 11,000 participation opportunities on 350 teams in 42 different sports. Big Ten Conference sponsors 28 official conference sports, 14 for men and 14 for women, including the addition of men’s ice hockey and men’s and women’s lacrosse since 2013.

About the College Football Playoff Foundation and Extra Yard for Teachers  

The CFP Foundation is the community engagement arm of the College Football Playoff, supporting education across the country. The CFP Foundation’s primary cause platform, Extra Yard for Teachers, is dedicated to elevating the teaching profession by inspiring and empowering teachers in four focus areas: resources, recognition, recruitment and professional development. The CFP Foundation utilizes multiple partnerships to execute its initiatives and support positive educational outcomes. To learn more, visit and follow Extra Yard for Teachers (@CFPExtraYard) on social media.

About Indiana Sports Corp

Founded in 1979 as the nation’s first sports commission, Indiana Sports Corp is a not-for-profit organization focused on bringing premier sporting events to Indiana to drive economic vitality, facilitate a vibrant community with civic pride and garner positive media attention. Because of this, Indiana Sports Corp is able to provide positive, sports-related opportunities for youth in the community. For more information, please visit