It’s always exciting and satisfying to give teachers money to spend on their students. Especially when they don’t know they’re getting the funds.

Members of the MPISD Education Foundation Board got to experience that when they presented grants totaling $32,060.97 to 37 teachers on 7 campuses on October 25.

“We make a big deal out of Grant Distribution Day,” said Dr. Judith Saxton, the MPISD Foundation Executive Director. “We bring members of the MPHS Band, some cheerleaders and, of course, the Tiger mascot with us. We make a lot of noise and the presence of the MPHS Tiger disrupts some campuses but to see the looks of surprise and happiness on the faces of those receiving the grants makes it all worthwhile.”

The grants were awarded to teachers at the Annie Sims Elementary, E.C. Brice Elementary, Frances Corprew Elementary, Vivian Fowler Elementary, P.E. Wallace Middle, Mount Pleasant Junior High and Mount Pleasant High Schools.

Grant recipients and their funded projects are:

Annie Sims Elementary School: Third grade teacher Tammy Bragg for iPads with headsets to use as an additional tool to actively engage the students in her dual language classroom; Third teacher Blanca Meeks to purchase chapter books for students who are beyond the 3rd grade reading level in Spanish in her dual language classroom; Third grade teacher Claudia Ramirez for iPads for her students to use to complete bilingual research projects in her dual language classroom.

E.C. Brice Elementary School: Second grade teacher Kristina Broadway for the purchase of lock boxes, locks and UV pens to simulate the escape room experience to teach students team building, problem solving skills and comprehension of academic subjects; Third grade teacher Marcia Chamness for dictionaries for each of the students in her classroom; Third grade teacher Carmelita Perez for flexible seating in her classroom; Fourth grade teacher Marie Snodgrass for classroom sets of high interest novels; and, Fourth grade teacher Jennifer Walker for dictionaries for her students.

Frances Corprew Elementary School: Second grade teacher Flor Acuna for Spanish language social studies books; Fourth grade teacher Sarai Garcia-Pena for iPads to use for intervention and research projects; First grade teacher Amanda Phillips to create a classroom library; and, First grade teacher Juan Manuel Serna for STEM Lego robotics kits.

Vivian Fowler Elementary School: Fourth grade teacher Maribel Castillo to build a diverse classroom library; Third grade teacher Christi Moss to purchase children’s literature to use in math lessons; and, Third grade teacher Jennifer Rivera to purchase English and Spanish books for her dual language classroom.

P.E. Wallace Middle School: Special Education teacher Jamie Carr for updated science materials to allow students hands-on experiences; Fifth and Sixth grade P.E./Health teacher Karlton Davis for the Fitness Finder program to encourage student to incorporate physical activity in their daily lives;  Fifth grade math teacher Tammy Davis for flexible seating for her classroom; Sixth grade math teacher Sharon Fain for manipulatives to improve student understanding of math concepts; Sixth grade STEM teacher Tara Flores for Robotics kits to assist students in creating and programming robots; Fifth grade dual language science teacher Olga de la Torre Guzman for iPads to use in bilingual research centers; Fifth and Sixth grade physical education teacher Abdiel Luzunaris for mini tennis courts to teach students the fundamentals of tennis; Fifth grade social studies teacher Magdalena Martinez for dual language social studies books and flexible classroom seating; Sixth grade math teacher Chrishina Maull for manipulatives to assist student learning of math concepts; Fifth grade dual language social students teacher Arely Nava for iPads to use in bilingual research centers; Principal Nathan Rider to purchase materials for a Nine Square in the Air structure; Assistant Principal Shonda Rutledge for materials to use with the Girls Real Life group on campus; Sixth grade reading teacher Tonya Schultz for materials (books and games) to enhance student learning; Choir and Theater teacher Diane Swiger for hand-held wireless microphones, a laptop and spotlight for choir and theater productions;  and, Fifth grade language arts teacher Deyanira Torres for mini iPads to allow students to interact with online reading programs.

Mount Pleasant Junior High School: Eighth grade math Kendyl Bowers for graphing calculators; for classroom laptops; Seventh grade language arts teacher Mandy McCorstin for Breakout EDU Kits (escape room kits) and, Eighth grade math teacher Margarita Ortega for graphing calculators.

Mount Pleasant High School: Math teacher Karen Russell to take math students to the TAMU-Texarkana Math Contest; Forensic Science teacher Sadonna Stinson for facial anatomy kits; and Director of Theatre Arts Jace Sturgill for computers for the Fine Arts Department.

Titus County Shared Services: Speech Therapist Jenna Davis for assistive technology devises to allow students to access iPads; and, Occupational Therapist Judy Schmidt for materials to begin a Bal-A-Vis-X project in the District.

“We are so thankful to the MPISD Foundation for presenting grants to our staff members,” said MPISD Superintendent of Schools Judd Marshall. “These funds will allow our teachers to do things that will benefit our students that would not be possible without Foundation assistance. These supplemental funds 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.”

Saxton added, “We are really excited to have been able to fund so many grants this Spring. The Foundation has now awarded nearly $200,000 in grants to MPISD teachers as we begin our fourth year 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.