- Wichita Public Schools
- News Room
WPS staff surprised with Education EDGE mini grants and KOCH classroom grants
WPS staff surprised with Education EDGE mini grants and Koch classroom grants
Twenty-seven teachers and school-based staff members across the district were surprised with the announcement that they received Education EDGE and Koch classroom mini grants to support their classroom projects. District administrators surprised them in their buildings to celebrate their grant.
More than $42,000 in grants was awarded.
This year, Wesley Healthcare became a partner in the program donating $10,000 and helped the district create Mental Wellness grants that allowed school support staff to create safe spaces for students. Koch Industries donated $12,000 for STEM-related projects.
The following staff received a $1,000 Education EDGE grant:
- Northwest High School math teacher Alma Agiano received a grant to create the modern classroom project to help students of all abilities engage in self-directed learning.
- Earhart Environmental Magnet Elementary School interrelated teacher Elisa Kratz received a grant to create a sensory garden and purchase self-regulation books.
- South High School interrelated teacher Jacqueline Nascimento-Odenheimer received a grant to purchase equipment to allow students to conduct experiments in her Scientific Research and Design class.
- Pleasant Valley Middle School English teacher Jaden Brown received a grant to buy books for students to help enhance choice reading with a focus on student interests.
- Robinson Middle School English teacher Jen Pillich received a grant to enhance the offerings of her Girls United creative writing and mentoring program for tween/teenage girls
- Northeast Magnet art teacher Jennifer Larsen received a grant to fund a collaborative project for creating a class book to support the district’s reading initiatives.
- Cloud Elementary School behavior intervention specialist Jennifer Pollard received a grant to turn a classroom at the school into a kinesthetic classroom to incorporate movement with learning.
- Pleasant Valley Middle School English teacher Jessica Rodriguez received a grant to purchase items for her classroom library.
- Colvin Elementary School ESOL teacher Kristi Lucas received a grant to create a science-based reading project for newcomer students.
- East High School science teacher Kyle Broadfoot received a grant to create the East High Greenhouse & School Farm project.
- Kensler Elementary School vocal music teacher Laura Hoobler received a grant to purchase recorders and stands for her classroom.
- Sowers Alternative High School interrelated teacher Lisa McIntire received a grant to buy lab material and equipment to engage special education students in science.
- McLean Science and Technology Magnet Elementary School kindergarten teacher Melissa Weigant received a grant to purchase coding critters to engage students in STEM activities.
- Benton Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Shannon Alberg received a grant to purchase classroom sets of books.
- Christa McAuliffe Academy science teacher Shirley Rose received a grant to create an outdoor classroom garden.
- Stucky Middle School interrelated teacher Tammy Gorges received a grant to create a classroom production center.
The following staff received a $2,000 Education EDGE/Wesley Everfi grant:
- Cloud Elementary School behavioral health school liaison Angela McGhee received a grant to create a safety zone program for students with behavioral concerns.
- White Elementary School social worker Emily McCray received a grant to create a regulation suite where students can deescalate.
- Benton Elementary School social worker Jenna Pike received a grant to create a Zen Zone initiative to teach students emotional regulation strategies.
- Bryant Opportunity Academy social worker Miquetta White received a grant to create a therapeutic classroom for play therapy.
- Griffith Elementary School behavior intervention specialist Natalie Henning received a grant to create an action-based learning lab to pair physical activity and reading skills.
- Southeast High School psychologist Sarah Watkins Mace received a grant to create a Chill Club where students can meet, connect, develop emotional regulation techniques and practice social skills.
- Jardine Stem and Career Explorations Academy social worker Stacey Larson received a grant to create a regulation station to create a de-escalation room for students.
The following staff received a $3,000 Koch classroom grant:
- East High School math teacher Christopher Garza received a grant to purchase color graphing calculators for students.
- Riverside Leadership Magnet Elementary School fourth-grade teacher Darla Brown received a grant to create a vermicomposting program using worms.
- Dodge Literacy Magnet art teacher Stephanie Sperger received a grant to help students build cardboard and plastic guitars to enable them to wire, program and compose music using a circuit board.
- Allison Traditional Magnet Middle School technology teacher Steve Smith received a grant to purchase advanced components for the school’s VEX robotics team.
Celebrating it’s 20th year, the Education EDGE is the district's educational foundation, allowing private donors to support three key areas – classroom mini-grants, fine arts and athletics – not supported by traditional funding resources. Since the foundation began in 2003, the district has invested more than $1.77 million in these key areas. For more information about the Education EDGE, or to donate, visit. www.usd259.org/edge.