Going the extra yard: USU Football Awards Teachers for Excellence

White Pine Extra Yard for Teachers award
Belinda Burningham receives an Extra Yard for Teachers award for White Pine Elementary


Canyon Elementary Extra Yard for Teachers
Jeremy Ralphs receives an Extra Yard for Teachers award for Canyon Elementary


Heritage Elementary Extra Yard for Teachers
Michael Rollins receives an Extra Yard for Teachers award for Heritage Elementary


Teachers who go the extra yard make a difference for their students and the community. Since 2017, Utah State University has teamed up with the College Football Playoff Foundation to present deserving local teachers the Extra Yard for Teachers award. This year, three outstanding CCSD educators were given the award: Belinda Burningham from White Pine Elementary; Jeremy Ralphs from Canyon Elementary; and Michael Rollins from Heritage Elementary. These teachers each received USU football tickets, a commemorative plaque, and a check for $3,000 for the school. They were honored at both a USU football game and at their individual schools. 


According to Bobby Nash, the Utah State Assistant Athletics Director for Marketing and Fan Engagement, the recipients of this year’s awards are not only dedicated to their students in the classroom, but have gone above and beyond by participating in activities outside of their normal responsibilities. White Pine's Belinda Burningham leads classes for new parents. Canyon's Jeremy Ralphs and his wife lead the Angel Tree fundraiser at the school. Heritage's Michael Rollins serves on numerous committees including the Teachers Association to help improve education. These teachers give back and contribute to their community and are very deserving of this recognition. 


The award money is to be used at the school’s discretion, and it is put to good use. Nash is especially excited about what Canyon Elementary is doing with their money: they are making a student wellness resource room, a place that students can go if they are overwhelmed or stressed. This along with many other school programs and activities would not be possible without the generous donations from USU. 


Concerning the Extra Yard for Teachers program, Nash explained, “We participate in this program because it allows us to not only recognize teachers and schools in our community that have gone above and beyond in their dedication to their students, but it allows us to also make an impact emotionally and financially for the students of Cache Valley.  The program recognizes the teachers for their hard work, but ultimately it is the students that are benefitting from the award.”