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District awards teacher grants for innovation

Bob McClure accepts grant.

Princeton ISD awarded funding to 14 innovative projects that teachers will implement in their classrooms next fall.

The check presentations during the end-of-year luncheon culminated a multi-step process, which included teachers submitting proposals for their ideas followed by a committee going over each proposal to determine the winners.

More than $51,000 in funding was approved.

“We want to encourage teacher innovation in the classroom,” Superintendent Philip Anthony said. “If everyone is doing the same thing across the campus and across the district, it can become boring to students over time. This helps keep education fresh.”

Linda Warren and Danny Derden accept grant for Godwin.

Princeton ISD has been funding special projects to be used in classrooms for several years, and this marks the second year teachers were asked to submit formal proposals for this money.

Through the application process, teachers submitted proposals to explain how their project would benefit the students’ learning, as well as make an impact on the community.

At the end-of-the-year luncheon, the district funded 14 classroom initiatives in the amount of $51,400.

Eric Lockman accepts grant.

“By awarding these projects at the end of the school year, it allows us to celebrate them with the entire district,” Mr. Anthony said. “It is also strategic in that we have the summer to get everything in place so they can start the new school year with their innovation operational.”

There were a lot of excited teachers as administrators presented the oversized checks at the end of the program.

“The projects this year will give the kids some unique opportunities,” Assistant Superintendent Donald McIntyre said. “And, this is a great way to send the teachers off for the summer.”

Ryan Gerfers accepts grant for Life Skills program.

Where the funds will be used:

-PHS career prep teacher Eric Lockman requested a point of sale machine to assist in the operation of a student-run school store.

“The student store will mirror our mission statement at PISD, we believe it will inspire every student to have the chance to achieve his or her full potential,” Coach Lockman said. “Teachers can send us their calendars for projects and supplies needed for their projects. We could make sure we have those supplies available at the student store, and students would be able to conveniently get the supplies they need for their projects.”

According to Lockman, the students want to offer store credit for students who attend school events to promote school spirit.

Corey Coursey accepts grant for introduction to golf.

-Cedrik Seefeldt, math teacher at PHS, requested iPads on behalf of the rest of the math department for teachers which will allow them to roam the classroom to teach, as well as utilize Google classroom to help keep students on track.

“The practices described go beyond the traditional classroom of a teacher being up in the front of the class and lecturing by placing the teacher in the power-zones,” Mr. Seefeldt said. “Allowing for a more efficient solution of giving absent students notes will give teachers more time and help student achievement on benchmark tests and overall grades. Students will be able to me more accountable for themselves with the classroom more digitized as we live in a digital world.”

Kim Anthony accepts grant for Lowe kindergarten.

-Danny Derden and Linda Warren’s proposal will fund a school garden using raised beds at Godwin Elementary.

“A school garden is a living laboratory where lessons can be drawn from real-life experiences rather than textbook examples, allowing students to become active participants in the learning process,” Mr. Derden said.

-Kindergarten teacher Kim Anthony will get 18 iPad minis for kindergarten students at Lowe Elementary.

“iPads are meant to be a creation device,” Mrs. Anthony said. “Students are able to practice their knowledge and classroom learning by creatively coming up with projects that are fun and engaging.”

Chelsea Lindstrom accepts grant.

-Southard science teacher Sarah Carr will receive technology for her science classroom.

“I wanted to outfit my science classroom with a teacher iPad, an interactive whiteboard or projector,” Ms. Carr said. “Technology is evolving rapidly, and it is imperative that we prepare our students by providing them with an opportunity to use the tools.”

-Because Ashley Caldera, Stacy Davis, Ryan Gerfers and Kevin Trussell submitted a proposal, all the secondary special needs students at Southard and PHS will have access to interactive projectors.

“We want to be able to reach our kids on a variety of levels, and many times it is much more difficult to do with our population that is non-verbal or limited in their verbal abilities,” Ms. Davis said. “Research has shown that interactive whiteboards are able to keep special education students engaged in the classroom.”

-Golf coach Corey Coursey received funding to implement the 1st Tee program at elementary and middle schools to provide students with exposure to the game of golf.

Charles Herndon accepts grant for camera lenses.

-Lacy math teacher Candace Coffee requested the 3rd-grade math students get access to the Reflex math program, which is designed to increase basic math fact recall and fluency. She supported her proposal by showing positive results of the pilot program she implemented in her classroom using the Reflex math site.

-Charles Herndon wrote a proposal for two advanced camera lenses for use by PHS photojournalism students.

“Students will be able to shoot high quality photos with zoom, low-light and stop-action capabilities,” he said. “Students will be able to explore sports photography and other kinds of photography using a high-powered lens.”

Sarah Meek accepts grant for Harper special education.

-Lacy teacher Paula Stiefer-Mora, Harper teacher Chelsea Lindstrom and Smith teacher Jennifer Nantz will all receive interactive projectors to use in their classrooms.

-Special education students at Harper will have access to new Chromebooks.

“Few careers exist without some interaction with computers,” said special education teacher Sarah Meek.

-Audio/video teacher Bob McClure will receive funding to begin equipping a fully functioning production studio at PHS.

“This broadcast studio will allow students to create and achieve a product that few elite high school programs are able to achieve while giving them access to real-world skills that can be applied in the production and broadcast industries,” Mr. McClure said. “The entire student population will benefit from the end product being produced.”

Candace Coffee gets grant for Reflex math program.