By 8:10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 26 everyone was on the bus: the MPHS pep band, cheerleaders, the Tiger mascot and members of the Board of the MPISD Foundation. It was to be a memorable morning. They were off to award $35,451.23 in Educator Grants to 35 teachers on all eight 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.
Director of State and Federal Programs Shirley Peterson joined the Patrol for the first time. She said, “I knew the teachers and the students would be excited to not only receive the grants but to also hear the band, see Grrr and the cheerleaders, so their excitement, however nice to see, didn’t surprise me. But what really made an impact on me was the excitement and fun that our community members and foundation volunteers had during the process. They truly enjoyed being able to help MPISD on the way.”
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, Mount Pleasant Junior High School and Mount Pleasant High School.
Grant recipients and their funded projects are:
Child Development Center: Teachers Marci Wilson and Jan McClinton to purchase musical instruments to support Fine Arts for their young learners.
Annie Sims Elementary School: Library Assistant Pam Collier to purchase Spanish language books including reference and non-fiction works that will support the curriculum; Fourth grade teacher Audena Hosey to purchase a 65” LED interactive panel that is designed to help teachers build an interactive learning environment; and, Fourth grade teacher Cari Lankford for the purchase of an Epson BrightLink Interactive projector that will allow any surface to be turned into a SmartBoard.
E.C. Brice Elementary School: Third grade teacher Maria Flores to purchase iPads to enhance learning by using programs such as Education Galaxy and i-Station and for AR Testing; Computer tech assistant McKenzie Harvey for computer screen privacy protectors to improve test and project security; and, Third grade teacher Carmelita Perez to purchase iPads to improve student access to technology for bilingual classroom research centers.
Frances Corprew Elementary School: P.E. teacher Karen Crooks teacher to purchase a rock climbing wall to grow the physical education program and promote physical fitness; Special Education teacher Felicia Harris to purchase books for struggling readers that have a high interest level as well as a lower reading level; First grade teacher Amanda Phillips to purchase books to enhance her classroom library; Fourth grade teacher Sarai Ramirez to purchase educational English Kamico games and Spanish books for her dual language students; Second grade teacher Dunia Rodriguez for math manipulatives to provide hands-on materials to teach basic and essential math skills; and, Second grade teacher Candice Watkins to purchase iPads for her classroom to promote an engaging learning environment for her students.
Vivian Fowler Elementary School: Instructional aide Emilee Capel to purchase Spanish library books to support the campus Dual-Language program; School counselor Debra Williamson to purchase books to use in a variety of settings to deal with the varied emotional, behavioral and social issues of students; and, Third grade teacher Amanda Woods for literature to introduce math concepts to her students.
P.E. Wallace: Middle School: Fifth grade English teachers Leslie Amerson and Elda Hernandez to purchase flexible seating for their classroom to offer more seating options for independent reading times; Sixth grade Social Studies teachers Dori Beasley, Pam Poag and Sandra Wright to purchase new iPads to allow students to use Google Earth, GeoBee, National Geographic and other applications for research; Life Skills teacher Jamie Carr for math manipulatives to give her students a more exciting experience while exploring math; Fifth grade Math teacher Tammy Davis for nontraditional classroom seating; Sixth grade Math teacher Sharon Fain for hands-on math supplies to improve student comprehension of math concepts and enhance teaching; Sixth grade Math teacher Cathleen Fender for math manipulatives, games, innovative seating and supplies to enhance student learning opportunities; Sixth grade Computer Science teacher Tara Flores for the Makey Makey STEM Pack-Classroom Intervention Literacy Kit to allow students to create and code projects; Fifth grade Science teacher Olga Renee de la Torre Guzman to purchase classroom supplies such as mini globes, human conductivity energy sticks and a sedimentary rock collection to provide hands-on learning activities for students; Sixth grade Science teacher LaSonya McDaniel to purchase two kits (Simple Machines and Rock Cycle) to provide hands-on learning activities for students; Fifth grade Social Studies teacher Arely Nava for books to enlarge her classroom library to encourage reading that relates to Social Studies and to increase reading motivation; and, Sixth grade English teacher Tonya Schultz for iPads to use for assessment, research-based project learning and as an everyday tool to strengthen reading and vocabulary skills.
Mount Pleasant Junior High School: Special Education teacher Crystalla Anderson for classroom computers to enhance student math and study skills; Eighth grade English teacher Margo Brown for classroom computers to enhance student language arts and study skills; and, Seventh and eighth grade English teacher Lynn Lovell for classroom computers that will allow students to access various academic programs used for ELAR and study skills classes.
Mount Pleasant High School: Chemistry teachers Lisa Trimm and Tammie Tigert for projects to allow teachers to interact with students better and to use multi-modal forms of teaching.
Titus County Shared Services: Occupational Therapist Judy Schmidt to purchase an additional OT assessment tool.
“We are so thankful to the MPISD Foundation for again 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 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.”
“We are really excited to have been able to fund so many grants this Spring,” said Saxton. “The Foundation has now awarded over $230,000 in grants to MPISD teachers in our four 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.