Academy Sports partnered with New York Giant and former University of Tennessee wide receiver Jalin Hyatt to celebrate teacher appreciation week and surprise the teachers. The chosen Knox County Schools teachers each received a $500 dollar gift card to shop Academy’s wide assortment of gear, sports equipment and Vols merch for their respective schools’ use.
Teachers who were chosen said this was a huge help and are excited to use the money to give back to their students.
“Kind of caught us off guard, it came out of nowhere. We got the news last week that we’re gonna come out here and get to support our PE programs with a big boost right with this gift card. So our kids are excited about it. We asked all the kids today, ‘What do you think we should get,’ so all the kids have had input and we’re just excited to be here,” said Ryan Ibbotson, PE teacher at Ritta Elementary School.
Hyatt said it is something that should continue to help educators.
“This means a lot because I feel like my mom and my dad would have benefitted from this if they were still in high school teaching so I think this is big, it’s something we need to keep continuing doing,” said Hyatt.
Each teacher was chosen for their dedication to their students throughout the school year.
Hyatt also chose to give back to his hometown of Irmo, SC with a $1,000 donation to Dutch Fork High School to purchase new gear for their students.
After a record-setting junior year on Rocky Top, Hyatt was selected in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft by the New York Giants.