(Minneapolis, MN) — October 8th, 2023 — Last weekend, the spotlight was shining on Brett Sindelir, an experienced 7th-12th grade social studies teacher at Alden-Conger High School in Wells, Minnesota. Brett’s moment of fame came as he participated in the Eckrich $1 Million Challenge during the Minnesota vs. Michigan game. The premise was simple. Throw a football through the target 15 yards away and win $1 Million to help his school.
As the Official Smoked Sausage and Deli Meat Sponsor of the College Football Playoff (CFP), Eckrich, in partnership with CFP Foundation’s Extra Yard for Teachers, has been dedicated to celebrating educators across the nation. Brett Sindelir was the latest example of the kind of educators deserving of recognition and support.
On the day of the Minnesota vs. Michigan game, the anticipation was palpable as Brett prepared to take part in the Eckrich $1 Million Challenge. Positioned on the field, he readied himself for a 15-yard throw, buoyed by “positive vibes and faith.” As the moment unfolded, Brett took the shot, but it didn’t quite hit the mark. While Brett missed the throw, Eckrich donated $2,500 to help further support his classroom and $500 for groceries from their local Cub His good-humored reaction and positive attitude in the face of unexpected results resonated with those who witnessed the event.
What made Brett’s participation in the Eckrich $1 Million Challenge all the more heartwarming was the fact that he had been nominated by his son, Ethan, who is also an educator. This familial connection underscored the significance of Brett’s impact not only in the classroom but also within his own family, highlighting the positive influence of teachers beyond their professional roles.
Brett, who boasts over 25 years of teaching experience, holds a special place in the hearts of his students and peers alike. Growing up in a military family, he found inspiration from his physical education teacher in Greece, who was a constant source of encouragement in his life. It was this influence that had a lasting impact on him, shaping the educator he would become.
In his own words, Brett described his everyday mission as a teacher: “Being a positive role model for young learners and preparing them for the future while being compassionate and relevant is an everyday challenge that I look forward to.” His commitment to molding young minds and instilling a love for learning was evident in his years of dedicated service.
Brett’s vision for the potential funds he could secure through the challenge was nothing short of ambitious. He aimed to direct the financial support towards updating the curriculum and acquiring essential technology resources for smaller rural districts like his own. His goal was to enhance the educational experience for his students and contribute to the betterment of his local community.
Off the field, Brett also shared a personal tidbit: his favorite go-to recipe for tailgating, Grilled Pepper and Onions Smoked Sausage.
In hindsight, Brett Sindelir’s participation in the Eckrich $1 Million Challenge was a shining moment that celebrated his dedication to education and his unwavering spirit. While the 15-yard throw didn’t go as planned, Brett’s enthusiasm, resilience, and his win of $2500 and $500 in groceries exemplified the remarkable qualities that make educators like him stand out. His story serves as a reminder of the lasting impact teachers have on the lives of their students and the communities they serve.