STEM Simulation of “Hazardous Materials laboratory” at Blythe Bower Elementary School 

Teacher Grant Winners 2018-2019 showcase extraordinary creativity and innovation

Neuroscience for Everyone

Erin Hattabaugh: Cleveland High School

Erin’s grant is entitled “Neuroscience for Everyone.” As a former registered nurse, Erin knows the importance of making her science classes as interesting and hands-on as possible. With this grant, Erin will purchase a “Human-to-Human Interface Kit.” This kit will include interactive lab equipment which will allow her to bring valuable neuroscience resources to her classroom. Erin will impact not only her own students, but elementary and middle school students who will be introduced to this technology while visiting her class.

Math with Ukuleles

Siema Swartzel:  Arnold Elementary

Siema’s grant is entitled “Math a Me Ke Mele I Ka Ukulele: Math with Ukuleles.” Siema, a long-time music educator, has developed a method for teaching fractions and other math concepts to elementary-age students using music – in this case, teaching her students to play the ukulele. This grant will provide 25 ukuleles and all equipment required to use them.


Bet You Can't Read Just One

Ann Collins: Blythe Bower Elementary

Ann’s grant is entitled “Bet You Can’t Read Just One.” She will purchase 84 “high interest/low readability” chapter books for the Blythe-Bower library. These books are characterized as having a high level of interest to students, a slightly lower reading level than the targeted grade levels, and shorter chapters. 

Reading Across Cultures

Kayla Rudy: Walker Valley High School

Kayla’s grant is entitled “Reading Across Cultures.” Kayla is German teacher at Walker Valley High School who understands the importance of getting today’s generation of high school students interested in reading. With the money provided by this grant, Kayla will be able to purchase five copies each of 27 books in German to build a classroom library. These books will be at varying levels with different topics and will be displayed in her classroom library in clear bins with the covers visible to pique students’ interest.

Pilot – Flying Students into Their Future Careers

Jessee Wood, Kim Foxworth: Blythe Bower Elementary

Jesse and Kim’s grant is entitled “STEM Pilot: Flying Elementary Students to their Future Careers.” Jesse and Kim are fifth-grade teachers at Blythe-Bower Elementary School. While Jesse and Kim acknowledge that their school is fortunate to have a STEM classroom and the resources to provide their students with access to technology, they say that the technology they do have does not explicitly connect STEM to STEM-related careers. With this grant, Jesse and Kim plan to purchase a flight simulator and the accompanying curriculum. Third to fifth grade students will use the aviation simulation to learn math and science standards.

Drawn to Cultural Exploration with My Art and Writing Journal

Mary Ann Poplin, Amelia Grubb: Mayfield Elementary School

Mary Ann teaches art at Mayfield Elementary, and Amelia is the Media Specialist. Their grant is entitled “Drawn to Cultural Exploration with My Art and Writing Journal.” These innovative teachers want their students to think of themselves as “global citizens.” To help students achieve this goal, Mary Ann and Amelia will lead their students in exploring the cultures of New Zealand, France and Italy. Students will learn basic drawing elements from each country and will critique and sketch various works of art from each country. The teachers will use money provided through this grant to purchase books, DVDs and art supplies to help students learn about the various countries they will be studying through this exciting project.


Grace Dyrek, Cynthia Van Pelt: Cleveland Middle School

Grace Dyrek and Cynthia Van Pelt understand that today’s students are constantly surrounded by technology. With this grant, they will purchase more online content for students at Cleveland Middle School. Among the purchases will be films covering topics such as musicians in Scotland and national monuments in the United States; graphic novels covering Greek myths, helping teens deal with anxiety, the gold rush, and other topics; audio books; STEAM-related books; and multi-language/multi-cultural books.

HTC Vive Pro: 6 Degrees of Motion

Kari Jo Harris, Brett Kirksey, Laura Martin, Ashley Meagher: Cleveland Middle School

The name of the grant submitted by these teachers is “HTC Vive Pro: 6 Degrees of Motion with Virtual Reality Field Trips – Cybrary Lab.”  Today’s students are inundated with technology, and Kari Jo, Brett, Laura and Ashley know the importance of using technology to enhance their teaching. With the technology provided through this grant, they will, for example, be able to take their students on a virtual reality field trip to the Great Wall of China. While this technology is still somewhat new, it has been reported that students have shown a degree of content mastery that has not been seen before, and students at Cleveland Middle School will soon have access to this exciting learning tool.

Reading to Succeed

Wenona Patterson, Gwen Turpin: E.L. Ross Elementary School

The grant submitted by Wenona and Gwen is called “Reading to Succeed,” and will allow them to purchase 85 three-year subscriptions to the SRA reading program. Reading is perhaps the single most important skill for a child to master. Without strong reading skills, students will struggle in nearly all other academic areas, and their chances of finding a good job are severely diminished. The SRA Reading Laboratory program has been used successfully for over fifty years, and now, thanks to Wenona Patterson and Gwen Turpin, third grade students at E.L. Ross Elementary School will be able to use this amazing program to improve their own reading skills.

Real World Learning–Technology Required

Stacey Wielfaert, Leigh Ann Klepzig: Walker Valley High School

Stacey and Leigh Ann, both language arts teachers at WVHS, submitted a grant entitled “Real World Learning: Technology Required.” These teachers know that among the best ways to prepare their students for life after high school is to ensure that they have a solid understanding of technology and how it can be useful to them. With this grant, they will be able to purchase Chromebooks for students in 10th – 12th grades. These Chromebooks will be used by all students to improve computer skills, access online documents for research, and other crucial skills all high school students must master in today’s online world.

Getting STEM SMART through Engagement

Betsy Gilbert, Samuel Lackey: Bradley Central High School

Betsy is a math teacher at BCHS and Samuel teaches chemistry. While it has been proven time and again that technology is a very useful tool in the classroom, the fact remains that students learn at their own pace. With this grant, entitled “Getting STEM Smart through Engagement,” Betsy and Samuel will be purchasing a Smart Interactive Flat Panel and eight Google Chromebooks. Because multiple users can be connected to the Smart Panel at the same time, students will be able to share their perspectives and help other students better understand concepts with which they are struggling. By implementing this student-led learning in their classrooms, Betsy, Samuel, and other teachers at BCHS will have more one-on-one time to spend with students who need extra guidance.

Sculpting in Clay–Integrating Art with Math & Science

Sara Rusk, Elizabeth Triplett: Lake Forest Middle School

Sara and Elizabeth’s grant proposal is entitled “Sculpting in Clay: Integrating Art with Math and Science.” With the funds provided by this grant, the teachers will purchase a kiln, various shelves and stands to fit in the kiln, and a collection of art supplies. Students will explore geometry concepts through discussion of the shape and form of the sculptures they create; they will learn about the history of clay through examining the Egyptian use of glazes to make the clay more durable, and that the Chinese improved upon the kiln. They will work with clay, creating various works of art that connect with units in social studies that cover early American history, among other topics.

EGGcellent Readers

Karra Withrow, Faith Robinson, Nikki O’Boyle, Jennifer Wilson: North Lee Elementary School

The grant submitted by Kara, Faith, Nikki and Jennifer is entitled “EGGcellent Readers,” and will provide access for one year to the Reading Eggs program for the kindergarten classes at North Lee. Now more than ever, students are being introduced to technology in various ways at a very young age. With the Reading Eggs program, each student will have his or her own unique login to the program, allowing him or her access to the program from anywhere they have an internet connection. This reading program, developed by educators with over thirty years of experience, begins with a placement quiz to determine the child’s current reading level, then uses colorful, interactive games to teach the essential skills for reading success.

eLab for FAB

Charis Reagan, Victor Rodriguez, Danette King Nix: Bradley Central High School

The grant submitted by Charis, Victor and Danette is entitled “eLab for FAB,” and will provide an interactive smart board, a 3D digital printer and all needed equipment associated with these items. Through devices connected to the Smart Board, students will be able to share results of science experiments with their peers. Using the 3D printer, they will be able to design and print equipment for these experiments. During their foreign language classes, students will play review games using the Smart Board by matching target language phrases to the English translation. There are numerous uses for both the Smart Board and the digital printer, and they will greatly enhance student performance.

Learning to Time Travel – A Journey of Discovery through Local Vintage Newspapers

Paul Sausville, Ann Pickens, Lindsey McChesney, Josh Justice, Christian Mann, Mandy Wilson,
Leslie Keck: Walker Valley High School

The grant submitted by this group of teachers is entitled “Learning to Time Travel: A Journey of Discovery through Local Vintage Newspapers.” They will purchase 40 books of original newspapers from Chattanooga and Cleveland spanning the years from 1883 to 1962. These books will help students develop personal and collaborative research skills and will increase their ability to scan a text, a skill necessary for successful performance on both the ACT and the end-of-course testing. 

Getting Connected through Science

Drew Nelson, Sheryl Rollins, Ashley Anderson: Lake Forest Middle School

The grant submitted by Drew, Sheryl, and Ashley is entitled “Getting Connected through Science.” According to their grant application, a survey of 330 seventh grade students was recently administered at Lake Forest Middle School, asking how often they were able to use a computer in science class during the past year. Using a scale of never, once per month, once per week, or daily, 250 students answered either never or once per month. Drew, Sheryl and Ashley are attempting to change this by purchasing Chromebooks and charging carts for their students. With these Chromebooks, students will be able to improve research skills, learn the importance of digital citizenship, and other invaluable skills necessary in today’s highly technical world. 

Providing Tools for Creativity

Candace Rhodes-Mull, Jonathan Hill: Lake Forest Middle School

The grant submitted by Candace and Jonathan is entitled “Providing Tools for Creativity,” and will allow them to purchase a saxophone, three flutes and six clarinets for their band students. It has been scientifically proven that music education has a positive impact on a student’s well-being and on the development of his or her brain. Participation in music education has been difficult for many students at Lake Forest Middle School because of the socio-economic status of their families. New equipment for the band program has not been purchased in several years; however, with your support, Candace and Jonathan are able to change that.

Securing Digital Success

Chase Smartt, Jennie White: Valley View Elementary

The grant submitted by Chase and Jennie is entitled “Securing Digital Success,” and will allow them to purchase two Chromebook charging carts for their students to use. Bradley County Schools is becoming a 1:1 district, meaning that every student in the Bradley County School District will have a device (generally, a Chromebook). With the money provided through this grant, the teachers at Valley View Elementary will be able to provide a way to keep these Chromebooks safe and fully charged.

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