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Metz Teacher Receives a "Big Day" Donation

September 21, 2022 - Tuesday, September 20, was a “Big Day” for Kamron Smith, who teaches geography at Metz Middle School. The first-year teacher was surprised with $1,000 to use in his classroom by the College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation as part of the nonprofit’s Extra Yard for Teachers Week.

In 2020, the CFP Foundation added the “Big Day for Teachers” to its weeklong celebration of PreK-12 educators. Recognized on September 20, the day is used to show teachers appreciation by surprising them with dedicated DonorsChoose funds to use for a variety of different projects. Through this initiative, the CFP Foundation hopes teachers will be able to implement their ideas within the classroom, leading to significant improvement and reduced inequality for students. 

Smith is a Virginia native who went on to play baseball at Northern Illinois University (NIU).

This past Tuesday, Smith was invited to speak to Mid-American Conference (MAC) Commissioner Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher via Zoom. NIU is part of the MAC, one of 10 conferences that make up the College Football Playoff.

In his Zoom with Dr. Steinbrecher, Smith describes his desire to instill a sense of respect in his students. Whether it’s to a peer, custodian, teacher or anyone else, Smith said he wants his students to show respect and be courteous to others.

“Saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ can lead you to a bigger life,” Smith said in the video posted to Twitter Tuesday. “I hope that’s what my kids take from me… I teach my kids respect and manners.”

Dr. Steinbrecher surprised Smith with the announcement of a $1,000 donation to help him in support of his students. The commissioner commended Smith on the work he is doing in the classroom, describing him as both impressive and a role model. 

 “We are very excited to be able to support Kam in his first year of teaching as a former student athlete and leader of ours,” said Kristin Williams, Associate Commissioner for Institutional Services for MAC.

Smith’s Metz family is equally as proud of his work.

“I am so proud to be in the same building as this young man,” said Metz Middle School Principal Gary Morris. “As his principal, I am able to walk into his classroom and learn right along with his students. He is a believer in family and creating a sustainable environment for all students.”