The Buffalo Bills and M&T Bank announced the fourth annual "M&T Bank Touchdown for Teachers" program finalists at the Bills vs. Jacksonville Jaguars game at Ralph Wilson Stadium Sunday, December 2nd.
The M&T Bank Touchdown for Teachers finalists are:
Bridget Maio, World of Inquiry School - Rochester, NY
Jane Gilbride, Starpoint Central School – Lockport, NY
Bradley Milette, Catholic Academy of West Buffalo – Buffalo, NY
Sharon Pikul, Lorraine Elementary – Cheektowaga, NY
James Russo, Stanley G. Falk School – Buffalo, NY
The program honors teachers for their outstanding service to their schools and communities. Honorees are chosen based on their amount of involvement in the school or community, degree of positive impact on the school or community and their demonstrated commitment to education.
The five finalists received:
Two (2) game tickets to the Bills vs. Jaguars game
Pre-game field access to watch warm-ups
In-game recognition on the video board
An official Buffalo Bills game ball
The grand prize was awarded to Bridget Maio who was honored December 2nd at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Maio is a band and music teacher at the World of Inquiry School in Rochester, New York, and won the award due to her outstanding commitment to the school-not giving up when she was denied a grant to establish a school a cappella group. Maio reached out to the Yellow Jackets, an a cappella group at the University of Rochester, who recently appeared on the NBC show, The Sing Off and asked for help. Her perseverance and dedication to the school's program gave over 100 students grades 3-9 the opportunity to learn from the Yellow Jackets, and help them prepare for performances in December and April. Thanks to Ms. Maio, the school will continue the program-and be able to provide this opportunity to students for years to come. As part of her prize, Ms. Maio will receive an in-class visit from a Buffalo Bills player and a $1,000 grant for World of Inquiry School.
"World of Inquiry has helped Rochester city students excel by having its teachers use a more hands-on learning approach focused on critical thinking and problem solving. Bridget Maio's dedication to finding more opportunities for her music and band students is a fine example of the student-centered focus at World of Inquiry. We're proud to join with the Buffalo Bills to congratulate Bridget and all of the hard-working teachers in our community," said M&T Bank Rochester Region President Dan Burns.
"With over 200 nominations this year, the amount of quality educators we have in this community is really impressive." said Bruce Popko, Bills Senior Vice President of Business Development. "The Buffalo Bills and M&T Bank take pride in being able to honor all of our finalists and a special congratulation to Bridget Maio, our 2012 M&T Bank Touchdown for Teachers winner."