Pictured from left to right: Brante Hayes, Lynn Johnson, Samantha Koehler-Overton, Monica Vavak and Carmen Zalman

Five educators from across the state took to the field on Saturday, April 22 before the Nebraska Red-White Spring Game began. Fans of their own are what brought them to Memorial Stadium to receive an award through Touchdown for Teachers (T4T).

T4T is a program recognizing educators from across Nebraska. Through the program, community members nominate local teachers for an Outstanding Nebraska Teacher Award.

BCBSNE collaborated with Nebraska Athletics to host the 2023 awards. Over 500 nominations were received from across the state this year, and the winners included:

  • Brante Hayes, Schuyler Elementary School
  • Carmen Zalman, Maxey Elementary School
  • Lynn Johnson, Bell Elementary School
  • Monica Vavak, Reagan Elementary School
  • Samantha Koehler-Overton – Omaha South Magnet High School

Before they took to the field at the spring game, all five were notified of their achievement while surrounded by their students. BCBSNE and Nebraska Athletics partnered with each teacher’s school to host an award ceremony with a surprise visit from Herbie Husker.

Each winner received a football signed by Matt Rhule, the Huskers’ head coach, a framed certificate, Huskers merchandise and tickets for their students to attend the spring game.

Kathy Nellor, health transformation leader at BCBSNE, said it was an honor to work with Nebraska Athletics to recognize educators.

“We believe creating a bright future for our state includes being there for the next generation of Nebraskans and the teachers who make a difference in their lives every day,” Nellor said. “BCBSNE is proud to provide health insurance coverage to Nebraska’s teachers, and Touchdown for Teachers enables us to be there for educators while celebrating their wonderful work.”

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