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Hall of Fame Teachers Present Roundtable Discussion

Educators across America will be able to virtually attend a roundtable discussion involving 5 career teachers with a combined total of 150 years of classroom teaching on Sept. 14, The Big Day in the Extra Yard for Teachers Program.

Sponsored by the College Football Playoff Foundation, each year teachers across the country are honored and rewarded for their hard work during the Extra Yard for Teachers Week. Last year during that special week, the newest inductees of the National Teachers Hall of Fame were announced virtually, and, because of COVID restrictions, they are still waiting for formal induction ceremonies. They are eager to participate in the virtual roundtable this year as a way of sharing their expertise as career teachers.

This year, The National Teachers Hall of Fame, Emporia State University, and The Teachers College at ESU are partnering with the College Football Playoff Foundation to provide free professional development for educators who watch and respond to the roundtable event. Moderated by Dr. Ken Weaver, ESU professor of psychology, retired dean of The Teachers College, and past chair of the NTHF board of trustees, the discussion will focus on the observations and advice for educators from the 5 members of the Hall of Fame Class of 2020.

Those members include Andrew Beiter, an eighth-grade social studies teacher from Springville, New York; Dr. Melissa Collins, a second-grade teacher from Memphis, Tennessee; Donna Gradel, a 10th-12th grade environmental science teacher from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma; Thomas Knab, a K-4 visual arts teacher from East Amherst, New York; and Jamil Siddiqui, a 9th-12th grade math teacher from East Bridgewater, Massachusetts.

The 90-minute discussion will include questions about the teaching profession, tips for improving teaching and learning as well as issues facing today’s schools. Anyone may watch live at 4:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time at and selecting the roundtable event. It will also be archived at that site for later viewing. Anyone wishing to receive professional development points may sign up for the digital badge through the Emporia State University site. Full details and criteria for receiving professional development points are available from The National Teachers Hall of Fame at (620) 341-5660 or

Weaver expressed his appreciation to the inductees’ willingness to participate in what he considers a valuable gift to the profession.

“Their years in the classroom have given them a greater understanding and clearer perception of how great teaching and learning can occur. Each year, we are so inspired and challenged by our new hall of fame members. This team is no different and will leave us all with a greater sense of worth and purpose.”