MPISD Foundation Awards Educator Grants
By 8:10 a.m. on Friday, May 12 everyone was on the bus: the MPHS pep band, cheerleaders, Tiger mascot and members of the Board of the MPISD Foundation. It was to be a memorable morning. They were off to award $36,365.15 in Educator Grants to 32 teachers on seven Mt. Pleasant ISD campuses.
“We made a lot of noise and the presence of the MPHS Tiger disrupted some campuses but to see the looks of surprise and happiness on the faces of those receiving the grants made it all worthwhile,” said Dr. Judi Saxton, Foundation Executive Director.
“We are so thankful to the MPISD Foundation for again presenting grants to our staff members,” said MPISD Superintendent of Schools Judd Marshall, who went along for the presentations. “These funds will allow our teachers to do things that will benefit our students that would not be possible without Foundation assistance as they fall outside the budgets for our campuses. These supplemental funds will help us enrich the learning experiences of our students. I am also very thankful to all our employees and community members who have donated to the Foundation. Without them, these grants would not be possible.”
The grants were awarded to teachers at the Child Development Center, Annie Sims Elementary School, E.C. Brice Elementary School, Frances Corprew Elementary School, Vivian Fowler Elementary School, P.E. Wallace Middle School and Mount Pleasant Junior High School. Earlier in the month grants had been presented to teachers on the Corprew Elementary, Mount Pleasant Junior High School and Mount Pleasant High School campuses
Grant recipients and their funded projects are:
Child Development Center: Teachers Amber Wilson and Olga Tellez for outdoor speakers for CDC Playground.
Annie Sims Elementary School: Second grade teacher Bethany Malone for the purchase of nine Osmo Explorer Kits to be used with iPads; and Second grade teacher Christi Lowry for the purchase an Epson BrightLink Interactive projector and Microsoft LifeCam that will allow any surface to be turned into a SmartBoard.
E.C. Brice Elementary School: Second grade teacher Sandra Cortez for the purchase of selected texts on student’s instructional level for teacher-guided reading. Books will increase in difficulty to enhance learning.
Frances Corprew Elementary School: Kindergarten and First grade teachers Bianca Contreras, Sarai Hernandez and Esmeralda Martinez to attend the Kemah Writing Academy; Fourth grade teacher Ritchell De La Hoya for science activities for the science lab to enhance hands-on learning experiences and investigation; Reading Interventionist Melanie Falkner for her Genius Hour Enrichment Group expanding the Butterfly and Vegetable Gardens and planting a memorial orchard; Second grade teacher Dunia Rodriguez for Spanish books on animals and biographies; and, Second grade teachers Candice Watkins and Tracey Collier for funds to take all Corprew 2nd graders to the Tyler Science Discovery Place.
Vivian Fowler Elementary School: First grade teacher Lisa Belcher for math manipulatives to be used in all five First grade classrooms; Second grade teacher Elizabeth Rivas for materials to enhance the teaching of science including microscopes with slides of insects, plants and animals; and, Third grade teacher Jennifer Rivera for quality headphones to use with iPads in the classroom.
P.E. Wallace: Middle School: Fifth grade English teachers Leslie Amerson and Karen Sisk for purchase of high interest, up-to-date novels to peak student interest in reading to share with all 5th grade ELA teachers; Sixth grade English teacher Dana Armstrong to convert six iPads to mini laptops to increase the number of students who can do writing assignments on computers; Special Education teachers Carolyn Burris and Samantha Dunkin for touch screen computers; Fifth grade Math teacher Tammy Davis for nontraditional classroom seating and math supplies including dry erase boards, desktop value cards and student privacy screens for computers; Physical Education and Health teacher Dona Elliott for funds to upgrade PE equipment and purchase equipment for more inclusive games and activities; Fifth grade Math teacher Sharon Fain for math supplies to enhance teaching; Fifth grade Math Audrey Gillean teacher for guided math instruction, intervention and problem solving supplies including magnetic fraction tiles; Fifth grade English teacher Darlene Greenlee for four mini iPads for her classroom so students can interact with online reading programs; Fifth grade Art teacher Estibaliz Moreno for additional art supplies; Assistant Principal Nathan Rider for archery equipment for students to use and compete in the National Archery in Schools Program; and, 5th Grade Music teacher Diane Swiger for musical instruments for the classroom.
Mount Pleasant Junior High School: Special Education teacher Crystalla Anderson for classroom computers to enhance student math and study skills; Seventh grade English teacher Eva Dickey for a subscription to the Flocabulary website, a site that offers rap music videos for most school subjects; Seventh grade English teacher Lynn Lovell for iPads and educational games for her Resource reading and writing class; and, Eighth grade English teachers Jana Moore, Amber Counts and Chelsea Loftin for a field trip to the Tyler Zoo as a part of a persuasive writing project.
Mount Pleasant High School: Spanish teacher Maryna Sviska-Otero for a field trip for Spanish 2 and AP Spanish students to the Dallas Museum of Art to see an exhibit of art from Mexico.
“We are really excited to have been able to fund so many grants this Spring,” said Saxton. “The Foundation has now awarded over $94,000 in grants to MPISD teachers in our two years of operation. We have exceeded our expectations thanks to the generous donations from MPISD staff members and the Mt. Pleasant community.”
Anyone interested in donating funds to the MPISD Foundation should contact Saxton at 903-575-2000.