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Foundation surprises teachers with cash awards

Twenty-six Beaufort County public school teachers from 12 schools were surprised with news that they had won innovation grants from the Foundation for Educational Excellence, a fund of The Community Foundation of the Lowcountry.

The grants will fund more than $8,000 in classroom projects ranging from anatomy models to robotics equipment.  Foundation officials visited teachers’ classrooms to deliver the news in person.

“The projects we’re funding this fall all have one thing in common,” said Jackie Rosswurm, the foundation’s chair.  “They’re innovative and they are helping students learn from new perspectives, with new tools and in more creative ways.

“We’re privileged to recognize and reward teachers who approach their work in new and exciting ways.  And the big winners, of course, are the students.  They’re the ones who ultimately benefit from innovative and effective classroom projects.”

The Foundation for Educational Excellence is a nonprofit organization whose primary function is to raise funds to support activities and projects that spur classroom innovation. Its first grants were awarded in 2009, and since then grants totaling more than $60,000 have been awarded district-wide.

The fall awards were supported this year by a grant the foundation received from The Bargain Box.  Funds are also raised from individuals, businesses and the foundation’s major fundraiser, “Jewels and Jeans.”

The 2014 fall cycle grant awards:

• Larry Leming, Alicia Brown, Mary Crosby (Beaufort Elementary, Science Exploration and Experimentation, Dr. Valerie Truesdale Innovative Teacher Grant Award)

• David Shervin (Beaufort High, Anatomy Models for 3-Dimensional Learning)

• Eve Weaver (Robert Smalls International Academy, Watch us Grow)

• Jill Brickley (Pritchardville Elementary, Wire Up a Critter Bot)

• Shane Peek (Whale Branch Middle, Ornithology Experiment)

• Nancy Davis (Hilton Head Island Elementary IB, Using Audio Cards to Improve English Proficiency for English Language Learners)

• Dana Christensen (Joseph S. Shanklin Elementary, Bird Watching)

• Irma Rameizl (Hilton Head Island Middle, Revistas Divertidas: Fun Magazines)

• Barbara Jo Silver (Bluffton Middle, South Carolina Alive)

• Samantha Ford, Leon Lee, Carmen Jones (Red Cedar Elementary, On the Path to Successful Math)

• Jennifer Smith (Hilton Head Island Elementary IB, Green Screen for Presentations)

• Jamie Dyas (Robert Smalls International Academy, Masks of African Literature)

• Melinda Smith (Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts, Wired for Sound)

• Aracely Johnson, Jill Brown, Mendy Gannon, Angela Peterson, Kim Jenkins (Beaufort Elementary, Local Trees, iPads and Ear Pods)

• Kelly Pulaski (Coosa Elementary,               Mentor Texts, Making Connections)

• Jennifer Deal (Pritchardville Elementary, Interactive EBooks for STEM)

• Debra Ryan, Rebecca Ulmer (Red Cedar Elementary, Robotics Equipment).

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