KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Last Thursday, Kasey Kahne helped Farmers Insurance present a $100,000 educational grant to one of the company's Thank America's Teachers program winners.
Cheryl Burchett, a teacher at Beaumont Magnet Academy, was chosen via online community votes out of 15 top-finalists as the winner of the Dream Big Teacher Challenge.
Kahne spoke to Burchett and her students Thursday during the presentation assembly.
"It's great to be here -- it's a great school," Kahne told the crowd. "I am lucky enough to go with Farmers Insurance all over the country and be part of handing out these grants. Your teacher won a $100,000 grant today for your school, which is unbelievable."
Burchett's submission proposed a renovation of the school's existing outdoor space that would merge outdoor education and the performing arts in order to enhance her students' learning.
"Congratulations on that, I think it's really cool," Kahne said. "I think the playground outside is going to be awesome and I hope you guys are all looking forward to it."
Farmers Insurance will award six $100,000 educational grants by the close of 2016 and 180 additional $2,500 grants, all totaling more than $1 million.
Kahne concluded his visit with a bit of advice for the kiddos.
"I want to thank all the teachers that are a part of this and are helping kids each day," the driver of the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet SS said. "I take so much from when I was in school and apply it throughout racing and what I do each day. You guys have to thank your teachers for that. They're very good to you."