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Baltimore Ravens, M&T Bank announce 2015 Touchdown for Teachers winners

Turron Davenport | 5/29/2015, 5:44 a.m.
Being involved in the community is something that comes naturally for the Baltimore Ravens
Touchdown for Teachers honors and recognizes local teachers for their leadership, dedication and commitment to education. (Courtesy of baltimoreravens.com)

Being involved in the community is something that comes naturally for the Baltimore Ravens. The team as well as individual players have done countless things as a way of giving back to the city of Baltimore and the surrounding area.

Led by Emily Scerba, the Ravens community relations program has put together various programs that have allowed the Ravens to become a fixture in the community.

One of the more outstanding programs is the “Touchdown for Teachers,” which honors and recognizes local teachers for their leadership, dedication and commitment to education and for their outstanding service to their school, students and community. The teachers were nominated by way of an on line application.

The Ravens and M&T Bank recently announced their Touchdown for Teachers program finalists and grand prizewinner. The Touchdown for Teachers grand prizewinner was Julie Macro from Mars Estates Elementary.

Macro teaches all subjects to her group of fifth-grade students at Mars Estates Elementary School in Essex, Maryland. In addition to serving as a teacher, Macro has established numerous programs that benefit her fifth-graders. The programs have had a great impact and they include a Math 24 Challenge group, Bloggers Café and Fit Friday. The program consists of over 90 students from third through fifth grade. The students will run a 5K at the end of the term.

Macro will be presented with a check for $2,000 in grant funds. Additionally, her efforts have earned her a classroom visit by a Ravens’ coach or player, accompanied by Ravens mascot Poe and cheerleaders in the near future.

The 2015 Touchdown for Teachers finalists are: Gil Baguio, Eager Street Academy; Sheila Beyer, Timber Grove Elementary; Edwin Perez, Baltimore City College; and Chad Shoales, Highlandtown Elementary/Middle School.

The five finalists each receive a personalized Ravens jersey and an award certificate. The runners-up each receive $500 in grant funds.

“It’s important to recognize the outstanding work our teachers are doing in the community,” said Augie Chiasera, President of M&T Bank’s Greater Baltimore and Chesapeake regions. “Teachers can literally turn lives around and inspire our young people to reach their potential. The Touchdown for Teachers program is a way to celebrate the positive impact teachers have on our students and the entire community.”

M&T Bank also teams with the Buffalo Bills to present a “Touchdown for Teachers” program to the educators in the city of Buffalo and the surrounding area. Last year’s grand priz winner was Jasmine Blanks of Magnolia Middle School. Ravens defensive tackle Brandon Williams visited Magnolia and spent the whole morning there. The school entertained the Ravens by holding a student talent show.