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The NHL Announces it’s Future Goals™ “Most Valuable Teacher” Finalists

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

Written by: Audrey Fields

Editor: Kylie Augis


The Future Goals™ Program


The NHL’s Future Goals™ Program has announced its four finalists for the 2023 contest. All nominees participate in Future Goals™, which the NHL and NHLPA sponsor to teach students STEM. The program uses the game of hockey to allow the students to see how these topics can apply to real-world scenarios, such as how players can use different angles in their passes to get around their opponents. Students have commented on how the knowledge in these lessons can be applied to “a future career in the STEM field” and how the course “applies to various careers”.


It has been around since its launch in 2014, and has been used by 3.8 million students throughout the United States and Canada. It is one of the largest sports themed educational programs ever used, and has been successful with students since the beginning. Not only is it used exclusively in the classroom, but in 2020 the program was offered at no cost to parents so students could still learn during the pandemic. The resources are best suited for those in grades 4-7, and consist of 12 total lessons (6 math, 6 science). Since this program is used internationally, it can be used in both English and French.


Winger James Neal visits Clara Tyner Elementary School as a part of the program.


The Finalists


These teachers were selected based on nominations sent in each month, and each monthly winner is now in consideration for the $20,000 grand prize. This large donation comes from SAP, who presents the program, and is put towards Environmental Sustainability Resources within the winner’s school district. Last year’s winner was Carolyn Avery, an educator from Bob Miller Middle School, who said that the win was “all for her students”.


The finalists in this year’s contest are Sandra Metzger, Nicholas D. Penberthy, Jen Cook, and Michael S. Casella. Sandra is a Philadelphia Flyers Fan who teaches 7th and 8th grade, has a passion for science, and wants to represent women in the field of science education. Nicholas is a fan of the Buffalo Sabres, teaches 5th grade, and became a teacher because of the positive impact he could make on children’s lives. Jen is a Chicago Blackhawks fan who has been teaching for 31 years, and was influenced to become an educator after having teachers she found admirable when she was growing up. Michael is the most recent monthly winner who is a fan of the New Jersey Devils, teaches reading and technology, and coaches hockey as well.


All of these finalists are worthy of the grand prize because of their contributions in their communities, but only one of them will take it for their district. The winner is to be announced sometime in May, so stay tuned!

The 2022 winner and Vegas Golden Knights fan, Carolyn Avery


Sources:

- Program Info and student quotes: https://futuregoals.nhl.com/about/

- This year’s finalists and contest info: https://futuregoals.nhl.com/most-valuable-teacher-program/


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