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 Two Local Teachers Honored by College Football Playoff Foundation

Ivy Medrano from the Sweetwater Union High School District and Renee Thomas from the San Diego Unified School District were recently named 2021 Extra Yard for Teachers Big Day recipients, each receiving $1,000 gift cards from the College Football Playoff Foundation to use toward their classroom.

Medrano (pictured top) is a transition teacher who works with moderate-to-severe special education students at East Hills Academy. In her role, she guides students in building a foundation beyond school to prepare them for life after high school.

Thomas teachers U.S. history and Spanish to students in grades 7 and 8 at Marston Middle School. Thomas strives to create lessons tied to students’ real-life experiences and current events to prompt critical thinking more easily. 

Extra Yard for Teachers Week is an initiative by the College Football Playoff Foundation to elevate the teaching profession by inspiring and empowering teachers in four core areas: resources, recognition, professional development, recruitment and retention.

As part of its Holiday Bowl sponsorship, San Diego County Credit Union (SDCCU) had the opportunity to select a deserving teacher and selected Medrano with assistance from the San Diego County Office of Education. 

“SDCCU is proud to honor Ivy as a deserving teacher who is passionate about her students in and out of the classroom,” said SDCCU President and CEO Teresa Campbell. “We especially want to acknowledge Ivy’s work in partnering with Walgreens to hire her students, in addition to working with parents to find solutions to the students’ aging out process and their life after high school. Ivy is truly exceptional and these students and our communities are better because of her.”

San Diego State University also had the opportunity to select an honoree and teamed up with SDCOE to select Thomas.

“Renee has been getting a lot of recognition for her teaching and this is a really great way to cap off the Teacher of the Year spotlight and attention. It’s well deserved,” said Marston Middle Principal Jon Gollias. “Renee does a ton of things on campus, is a very hard worker, keeps learning all these new strategies, loves her students, and is a leader on campus.”

The College Football Playoff Foundation is the community engagement arm of the College Football Playoff and works in partnership with institutions of higher education, sports organizations, corporations, and non-profits to support educators and improve student outcomes. 

To learn more about Extra Yard for Teachers, visit .