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Pac-12 donates $10,000 to Santa Clara teachers

Nov 30, 2017

Donation is part of the College Football Playoff Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers Program
Teachers to be Honored at Pac-12 Championship Game Friday at Levi’s® Stadium

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Today the Pac-12 Conference presented Hughes Elementary School teacher Jennifer Erickson and Buchser Middle School science teacher Carl Erickson with a $10,000 Extra Yard for Teachers Award to be used to support their students. The award is part of the Pac-12’s partnership with the College Football Playoff Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers program. The Ericksons, who are husband and wife, were selected as the recipient of the awards, which seeks to decrease teachers’ out-of-pocket expenses because of their creativity in engaging students in the classroom.

As part of the events surrounding the 2017 Pac-12 Football Championship Game Presented by 76®, the Ericksons were surprised with $5,000 checks each in front of their students by the Pac-12 Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year Matt Anderson, a business administration graduate student who is working towards a degree in culture studies of sport in education and a placekicker on the California Golden Bears with a 3.56 grade point average.

The mascots from Pac-12 universities were on hand to make the presentation which took place in Carl’s engineering lab at Buchser Middle School. The students were brought together thinking they would be shooting a Santa Clara District promotional video advocating STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and match) education. To the teachers’ surprise, Pac-12 Chief Marketing Officer Danette Leighton and Anderson awarded the Ericksons with the $10,000 to go towards their classroom needs.

“We are proud to partner with the College Football Playoff Foundation (CFP) and use our Pac-12 Football Championship Game to spotlight and honor local teachers like Jennifer and Carl,” said Leighton. “College sports complement the academic mission of our universities and the love for learning begins with inspiring teachers like them.”

Jennifer has been a teacher at Hughes Elementary for 10 years. She is creative in all areas of learning and involves students in their education, meeting the needs of each individual student and building on their strengths. A former culinary teacher for William-Sonoma, she brings her love of cooking to the classroom and inspires students to read and enjoy math by earning points to build the longest burrito. Jennifer has been a lead teacher on the school-wide technology 1:1 initiative supporting other teachers in the use of tablets with students.

Carl has been teaching science at Buchser Middle School for 18 years. He creates a classroom environment that inspires his students to wonder and be curious about the world around them. He runs Buchser’s Tech Challenge Team where students from grades 6-8 contemplate technology and engineering challenges. Carl has served on the District Science Leadership Team for many years, keeping science education at the forefront in Santa Clara Unified. He has led district-wide professional development on teacher collaboration for student success.

“Carl and Jennifer exemplify the amazing staff in Santa Clara Unified, demonstrating their knowledge of teaching and passion for student success every day,” said Assistant Superintendent Kathie Kanavel. “Both go above and beyond to support their students, schools and the community. They are preparing our students with STEAM experiences and at the same time, building character and global citizenship. They are guiding our future leaders!”

The overall mission of Extra Yard for Teachers Program is to elevate the teaching profession by inspiring and empowering quality teachers. In addition to the donation made to the Ericksons today, each Pac-12 university donated $10,000 to deserving local teachers in their communities over the course of the football season, totaling $120,000 donated by Pac-12 universities to educators across the region.

The Ericksons and their students will be honored on the field during tomorrow night’s Pac-12 Football Championship Game. Tickets for the game, to be played at Levi’s Stadium at 5 p.m. PT, are still available at or the Levi’s Stadium box office.