Pac-12 and CFP Foundation's Extra Yard for Teachers join Allegiant Stadium in awarding $10,000 total to Juliana Urtubey, Las Vegas & National Teacher of the Year
In partnership with the College Football Playoff Foundation's "Extra Yard for Teachers" initiative, the Pac-12 on Friday awarded $5,000 to Juliana Urtubey, a special education teacher at Kermit R. Booker, Sr. Innovative Elementary School in Las Vegas.
The donation was matched by Allegiant Stadium to up the total to $10,000.
Mascots from the CFP Foundation and all Pac-12 universities surprised Urtubey with the checks at an assembly in Booker Elementary's courtyard on Friday, Dec. 3, ahead of the 2021 Pac-12 Football Championship Game, presented by 76®, kicking off Pac-12 football's debut at Allegiant Stadium and Las Vegas. Afterwards, the mascots posed for photos and danced with students.
"I was so happy to see the students so happy; they got to have a lot of fun," Urtubey said. "Every Friday at Booker we wear college shirts to encourage the kids to go to college, so having all the mascots here was so much fun. And then the two checks are just incredible."
Urtubey said the $10,000 will go toward funding Booker Elementary's garden program, an innovative outdoor learning space for students.
"At my last school I started a really big garden program and we've been wanting to expand the garden program here," said Urtubey, who has been teaching at Booker Elementary for two years. "It's going to be huge learning classrooms outside. It's going to have a fruit forest and lots of plants and places for kids to play outside."
A University of Arizona graduate, Urtubey was also recently named the 2021 National Teacher of the Year and is on the cover of the latest issue of People Magazine. Booker Elementary principal Jose Silva is glad the rest of the country is "realizing what we have here."
"Words don't even describe the human being that she is," he said. "The care and the passion for the students, and being an advocate for education overall, it's genuine."
The CFP Foundation is the largest sports entity in America that is supporting education. Its nationwide Extra Yard for Teachers platform has collectively invested over $50 million in support of education. The CFP Foundation is successful in supporting and uplifting teachers by focusing its work within four core areas: (1) Recognition, (2) Resources, (3) Professional Development, (4) Recruitment and Retention.
The CFP Foundation grew exponentially within the first six years and has supported more than 400,000 teachers nationwide in 40,000 schools, creating a positive impact for more than eight million students.
The Pac-12 has been a proud partner of the CFP Foundation since it was founded in 2014.
"This organization has really supported teachers in Nevada and across the country and it's a beautiful thing to celebrate teachers because we're thankful for the work they do, but we're also showing how much we respect them," Urtubey said. "It's really meaningful."
Urtubey and several students from Booker Elementary will be honored during the Pac-12 Football Championship Game at Allegiant Stadium on Friday, Dec. 3, which is also Urtubey's birthday.
"Best birthday ever," she said.