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Education EDGE gifts support classrooms and programs

Teachers surprised with classroom mini-grants

Hadley technology teacher Sherri Molde was surprised with a Koch classroom mini-grant. Twenty teachers 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, members of the Education EDGE steering team and representatives from Koch surprised them in their classrooms to celebrate their grant.

More than $55,000 in grants were awarded.

The recipients are:

  • Jardine Middle School teachers Denyse Cerullo and Kristen Shelton received a $5,000 Koch grant which will help purchase equipment and software for the school’s VEX Robotics team.
  • Jardine Middle School music teachers Logan Caywood and Kimme Whittemore received a $841 Education EDGE Grant to purchase world percussion instruments.
  • West High School engineering teachers Jim Pugh and Zack Helgesen received a $5,000 Koch grant which will be used to purchase equipment and software for the school’s VEX Robotics team.
  • West High School interrelated teacher Kristen Johnson received a $1,500 Education EDGE Grant which will purchase Smart Pens for special needs students.
  • Northeast Magnet speech therapist Jennifer Owen received a $1,443 Education EDGE grant to purchase voice output communication aids.
  • Christa McAuliffe Academy library media specialist Susannah Levine received a $1,500 Koch grant for Library Makerspace.
  • East High School math teacher Joshua Collette received a $1,458 Koch grant to purchase engineering prototyping equipment.
  • Allison Middle School math teacher Betsy Bellinger received a $5,000 Koch grant which will be used to purchase Chromebooks for her students.
  • South High School teachers John Martin and Whitney Mohr received a $4,828 Koch grant which will be used to purchase Chromebooks.
  • Mead Middle School math teacher Lisa Stang received a $1,018 Education EDGE grant which she will use to purchase kits to help students regulate emotions during stress.
  • Cloud Elementary kindergarten teacher Ashley Cavazos received a $1,426 Education EDGE grant to purchase items for the Girls RISE afterschool yoga program.
  • Hadley Middle School technology teacher Sherri Molde received a $1,500 Koch grant which will help purchase equipment for the school’s VEX Robotics team.
  • Hadley Middle School social studies teacher Hannah Schaake received a $5,000 Education EDGE Grant which will purchase items to create classroom libraries and to enhance the school library.
  • Kelly Elementary library media specialist Sally Loehr received a $5,000 Education EDGE grant which will be used to purchase Chromebooks to allow students to make video book reviews.
  • Price-Harris interrelated teacher Traci Ray received a $4,781 Education EDGE grant which will be used to purchase iPads for special education classrooms.
  • Irving Elementary fourth grade teacher Sarah Watkins received a $4,940 Education EDGE grant which will be used to purchase Chromebooks so all fourth graders will have one.
  • Colvin Elementary ESOL teacher Kristi Lucas received a $3,801 Education EDGE grant which will help purchase books for newcomer classrooms and third grade classrooms to enhance reading proficiency.
  • Griffith Elementary teacher Donna Wilson received a $1,376 Koch grant which will be used to purchase iPads to provide students with an opportunity to learn coding.

Click here to see photos of all the Education EDGE and Koch mini-grant recipients.

The Fine Arts gift fund received $20,010 to purchase 23 beginning band instruments, art classroom supplies including seven pottery wheels and auditorium equipment upgrades including 32 lapel microphones.

The Athletics gift fund received $18,000 to purchase middle school uniforms and equipment.

The recipients were recognized at the December 10 Board of Education meeting.

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 2005, the district has invested more than $1.4 million in these key areas. For more information about the Education EDGE, or to donate, visit. www.usd259.org/edge.

Koch classroom mini-grants support school-based licensed staff in their efforts to provide innovative, quality educational opportunities to students. The grants are limited to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) or business entrepreneurship classroom projects that are aligned with the district’s Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS) initiative.