D49 Teachers Score “Extra Yard” Recognition from AFA
Three teachers in District 49 all have something in common. Parents and colleagues would say these teachers deserve recognition for going above and beyond in their classrooms. Once again, the Air Force Academy’s “Extra Yard for Teachers” campaign made that possible.
Carrie Clay, special education teacher at Falcon Middle School; Jon Cody, fourth grade teacher at Meridian Ranch Elementary School; and Mark Koenig, third grade teacher at Remington Elementary School each received a surprise visit Sept. 21 from the AFA’s mascot and athletics department representative to notify them they are among only 10 local teachers to earn this honor.
Samantha Abbott, a fellow teacher at FMS, nominated Clay. “Carrie is an exceptional special education teacher who always puts the needs of her students first,” Abbott remarked. “Her enthusiasm and excitement over a single day of success is infectious, and her positive nature toward students and colleagues is always inspiring.”
The “Extra Yard for Teachers” campaign is part of a $10,000 grant from the College Football Playoff Foundation. Air Force Academy Athletics received 900 nominations from across the Pikes Peak Region.
Shavonne Lewis, an MRES parent, nominated Jon Cody. “Mr. Cody has taught my son, Andrew, the essence of hard work in simple terms,” commented Lewis. “He tells his students, ‘Do you want to be a shark, or do you want to be a guppy? Sharks hunt for the skills they need. Guppies just follow the pack.’”
D49’s third honoree, Mark Koenig, also earned a parent nomination. “For the first time, my son has been able to believe in himself,” shared Melissa Pieffer, mother of third-grader, Rex Pieffer. “Our experience with Mr. Koenig has changed my child’s whole outlook on education and school. He has absolutely changed my son’s future … every kid should be so lucky to have a teacher like him.”
The teachers will be honored during halftime at the Sept. 29 AFA football game and will each receive a $1,000 grant for their classroom.