Darlington Upper School Science Department Chair Owen Kinney has been granted $1,000 for classroom supplies from the Extra Yard for Teachers program, an initiative of the Big 12 Conference and the College Football Playoff Foundation.

Kinney was nominated by Miles Bearden (‘13), a Darlington alum and Kansas State University track & field athlete. Bearden is one of the Big 12 student-athletes featured in its “Champions for Life” campaign which highlights student-athlete’s life-changing stories through the opportunities that a scholarship provides.

Each student-athlete featured in the “Champions for Life” campaign were given the opportunity to nominate a teacher who made a lasting impact on them during their academic journey.

“Mr. Kinney pushed me as a student while creating a very fun learning environment,” said Bearden. “He always had a positive outlook and it rubbed off on his students. He taught me environmental science and zoology and he was also my advisor.”

Kinney was quite surprised to receive this recognition and is in the project-planning process for the grant.

“I’m very interested in creating a perennial garden with an interpretive walking trail, filling it with plants and flowers that will attract bees and wasps,” said Kinney. “This garden would give us the opportunity to observe how these vital native pollinators work as we observe their diversity and abundance over time.”