VA Education Foundation Awards More Than $10,000 in Teacher Grants

From Staff Reports

The newly-formed Van Alstyne Education Foundation awarded more than $10,000 in grants to deserving teachers in the Van Alstyne Schools over the past week. More than $25,000 in requests were received from district teachers.

“It was so rewarding seeing the excitement from the teachers. I wish we had the money to fund all of the requests,” said VAEF Executive Director Mandy Montgomery.

• Jo Williamson, VAES PE Teacher, received $650 for a portable sound system and wireless mic she needed for her classes. “I’m so excited for students to be able to understand my directions from all areas of the gym using the wireless sound system. I will be able to speak in a normal voice, and my hands will be free to demonstrate skills to all the students in the gym,” said Williamson.

• Nancy Kerr, who will serve as an intervention specialist at the elementary school next year, received almost $1,100 for materials — including an iPad — to start her program. “This money will provide much-needed technology and manipulatives for struggling students who need extra help in reading and math,” stated Kerr.

• The first grade team requested electronic tablets to be used in their learning centers. First grade teacher Gay Roddy said, “We are so excited to purchase an extra iPad for each first grade classroom.”

• The second grade team will be getting iPod listening centers for their classrooms.

• Third grade will receive funds to purchase hands-on science materials.

• The Foundation awarded $500 to the fourth grade team to go towards their annual trip to Austin. “I appreciate the hard work and dedication these individuals provide for our school and teachers,” stated fourth grade teacher Rajonia Carnley.

• The seventh grade teachers will be receiving netbooks to use in the classrooms. Teacher Keri Leinart stated, “We are so excited to receive the grant. We are looking forward to using the netbooks to incorporate more technology in our classrooms.”

• Darrell Hardcastle, who teaches sociology at the high school, will be adding reality babies (baby figures with realistic actions) for his class. The babies will be checked out to students who will get a “reality check” on parenting.

• The high school library, under the direction of Susan Wieslak, will receive funds to purchase e-books for the students to check out.

For more information of awards and presentations of the Van Alstyne Education Foundation, visit their web site at www.vanalstyneeducationfoundation.org.