Wake County public school teachers in 30 schools will be awarded more than $80,000 in classroom grants for the coming year thanks to local business investments in Wake Education Partnership.
The grants for 2012-2013 were made possible by Ethicon, Food Lion, Quintiles, LORD Corporation, the Carolina Hurricanes Kids 'N Community Foundation, GlaxoSmithKline, and Biogen Idec. In addition, a local organization known as "Hit it Far for Kirby" provided $9,000 to support classroom instruction for students with autism.
"Working through Wake Education Partnership, the business community is helping our students where it counts the most - in our classrooms," said Wake schools Superintendent Tony Tata. "We appreciate what the funding can do to help our students and what it says about business support of public education."
The Partnership awarded 34 grants to individuals and teaching teams under the categories of Innovative Instruction and Professional Learning Communities. Within those broad categories, the grants were focused on science initiatives, health and nutrition, autism and general instruction.
Past recipients of Teacher Leadership Grants, which range from $1,500 to $5,000 each, say one benefit of being selected is the chance to try different approaches that would otherwise go unfunded.
"We have been working in our school to support and encourage our students to not only enjoy science but also to understand their role as future scientists and how the process of scientific investigations helps them to develop critical thinking," said third-grade teacher Marcia Ferreira of Morrisville Elementary. "The entire staff is on board with the project."
Winning entries among this year's proposals ranged from a project that places algebra lessons on iPads to using QR Codes to access video book talks created by students.
Teacher Leadership Grants is one of the Partnership's longest-running programs, allowing the business community to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into the classroom in the past 25 years.
"The schools clearly benefit, but more importantly our students benefit thanks to the teachers' spectacular ideas for developing new instructional methods that increase student participation and performance in the classroom," said Wake Education Partnership President Steve Parrott.
Grant applications were reviewed by a committee of volunteers from Wake County's business leaders and educators. Criteria included the sustainability of a program, contributions to professional development and improved student achievement. Recipients and team leaders of Teacher Leadership Grants for the 2012-2013 school year are:
• Ann Badders,Rand Road Elementary
• Jennifer Barclay, Carroll Middle
• Jessica Benton, Millbrook Elementary
• Cassie Blackwelder, Leesville Road High School
• Jennifer Browndorf, Leesville Road Elementary
• Connie Daniel, Vandora Springs Elementary
• Megan Davis, Lincoln Heights Elementary
• Shannon Delos, Holly Ridge Elementary
• Andrea Grabowski, Holly Grove Elementary
• Amanda Hajnos, Carver Elementary
• Stephanie Harris, East Wake Middle
• Jeanie Henschel, Middle Creek High School
• Carrie Jones, Middle Creek High School
• Debra Kearns, Dillard Drive Elementary
• Kristie Lewis, Kingswood Elementary
• Cynthia Linton, Centennial Campus Middle
• Linda Long, Reedy Creek Middle
• Carol Longo, Lacy Elementary
• Ed Mannville, Heritage High School
• RandyMcFarland, Wakefield Elementary
• Beverly Mitchell, Northwoods Elementary
• Shelia Nedoma, Dillard Drive Elementary
• Theresa Padgett, Athens Drive High School
• Elizabeth Peacock, Willow Springs Elementary
• Sabrina Penuel, Garner High School
• Amy Pilz, Yates Mill Elementary
• Celia Rowland, Enloe High School
• Megan Runion, Olive Chapel Elementary
• Katherine Sokolowski, Reedy Creek Middle
• Amy Stahl, Carnage Middle
• Tyler Steketee, Morrisville Elementary
• Lori Warren, Heritage Middle
• Amanda West, Holly Grove Elementary
• Sarah (Sally) Whitley, Forestville Road Elementary