FUND FOR TEACHERS

Believing the teacher knows best how they can make a better impact in their classroom, Fund for Teachers awards fellowships for self-designed professional growth to PreK-12 teachers who recognize the value of inquiry, the power of knowledge, and their ability to make a difference.
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Congratulations to these Oklahoma teachers awarded Fund for Teachers grants to pursue their self-designed fellowships this summer:

Elementary Schools

Michelle Barnes, Sarah Carnes
Van Buren Elementary - Oklahoma City
Fillmore Elementary - Oklahoma City
Research in Bali, Indonesia, aspects of a culture that rewards creative spirit instead of stifling it to acquire insights that will empower bilingual Latino students to find their creative spirit.

Leslie Brown*
Skelly Elementary - Tulsa
Join an educational tour of Vienna and Prague studying the development of European art and architecture to educate students on the nexus of history and culture, particularly pertaining to visual arts.

Kathy Dvorak, Carol Ross
Thomas Jefferson Elementary - Tulsa
Wolf Creek Elementary - Broken Arrow
Explore in Ghana connections between the Orff-Schulwerk approach to music education and traditional West African music to create hands-on experiences that facilitate students’ respect of different cultures and understanding of music’s relation to history and culture.

Sarah Chimblo, Lisa Kazda, Sophia Quiroz, Lindsey Roskam
Jenks East Elementary - Jenks
Attend the annual Two-Way Dual Language Conference in Sacramento, CA, to align current curriculum with national standards and enhance lessons on writing, student ethnicity, culture and language development in Spanish and English.

Theresa Adams, Therese Iten
St. Pius X Catholic School - Tulsa
Join an educational tour of Italy’s renown landmarks and museums to push students’ understanding of Italy beyond “pizza” and develop an integrated curriculum with special emphasis on language arts.

Donna Mastalir, Lois Sturch
Bryant Elementary - Oklahoma City
Attend the Steve Spangler Science in the Rockies workshop and the Xperience STEM National Conference in Denver, CO, to initiate an Invention Fair in which students examine historically significant scientists, mathematicians and engineers and find commonalities with STEM pioneers.

Jennifer Knopf, Terry McKelvey, Janie Thompson, DeMarsha Williams
Cleveland Elementary - Lawton
Attend the “I Teach K” conference in Las Vegas to learn best practices, new technology and intervention ideas for creating a reading program for preK English Language Learners.

Dianna Clark,Cindi Hodges, Lynette Popham
Charles Haskell Elementary – Edmond
Angie Debo Elementary – Edmond
Russell Dougherty Elementary – Edmond
Attend Duke University’s Standing Out in a Standardized World: Differentiation for Gifted Students institute in Durham, NC, to learn about the social/emotional needs of gifted students and hone differentiated curriculum instruction skills to ensure each child reaches their full potential.

Tina Livingstone, Amber Neal
Parkview Elementary - Stroud
Explore Spain and France through the work of their master artists to develop an interdisciplinary project that lures students away from the confines of rural Oklahoma to distant places and interesting ideas found in multiple art mediums and art history.

Diana Blair, Johnnie Herring*
Highland Park Elementary – Stillwater
Highland Park Elementary – Broken Arrow
Study the educational system along Japan’s Golden Route to create literature and tolerance units that emphasize the long-term impact of man-made disasters by comparing and contrasting Hiroshima and the Oklahoma City Bombing.

Becky Atherton Dukes
Carnegie Elementary - Tulsa
Study Renaissance and Impressionist art in France and Italy to create new cross-curricular art units that allow students to reflect on the historical and cultural significance of visual art.

Emily Baker
Robertson Elementary - Tulsa
Explore Aboriginal history and culture in New Zealand to expose students to commonalities between this indigenous group and Native Americans and highlight similarities in peoples’ struggles, hardships and successes.

Katie Comtois
Shidler Elementary - Oklahoma City
Attend a language and cultural immersion school in Oaxaca, Mexico, to improve linguistic skills, demonstrate a commitment to learning about students’ Hispanic heritage and cultivate positive rapport among families at school.

Jessica Dickson
Jenks West Elementary - Jenks
Visit historical sites, museums and International Baccalaureate schools in London to gain a better understanding of early European exploration and inquiry-based instruction.

Kathy Harding
Peters Elementary - Broken Arrow
Investigate volcanic structures and temperate rain forests of the Pacific Northwest to enrich student awareness of environmental conflicts and support 3-5 grade curriculum on plants/rocks, land/water and ecosystems.

Susan Pendergraft
Earlywine Elementary - Oklahoma City
Earn certification from the San Francisco Orff Course in Carmel Valley, CA, to incorporate dancing, singing and playing instruments into music curriculum and develop life-long musicianship and problem solving skills.

Tiffany Robles
McAuliffe Elementary - Broken Arrow
Participate in the Teacher’s College Summer Reading & Writing Program at Columbia University in New York City to strengthen current reading and writing workshops with current technology in the classroom.

Middle Schools

Kelly Benham, Ronda Hatton, Kathy Rutherford, Melissa Waterman
Owasso Eighth Grade Center - Owasso
Walk in the steps of patriots, pirates, slaves, soldiers and ghosts in Charleston, SC, to study the city’s influence on American history and facilitate students’ ownership of our country in a way that improves their stewardship of civil rights and duties.

Tammy Bright*
Stillwater Middle - Stillwater
Study the educational system along Japan’s Golden Route to create literature and tolerance units that emphasize the long-term impact of man-made disasters by comparing and contrasting Hiroshima and the Oklahoma City Bombing.

Nicole Bennett
Locust Grove Middle - Locust Grove
Investigate authors of fantasy in the United Kingdom, focusing on Lewis Carroll, J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling, to find inspirations for students to work creatively and expand their reading for pleasure.

Stephanie Bowman
Central Middle - Lawton
Participate in an active learning environment at the International Society for Technology in Education in Atlanta to develop strategies for boosting digital age learning aligned with Common Core State Standards.

Tammi McCarter
Waurika Middle - Waurika
Analyze the political/economic connection and impact of decision making in Vietnam to guide students’ consideration of governmental actions and inform a comparison study of other countries in similar circumstances.

Vic Rook
Central Junior High - Moore
Investigate the past, present and future of Silicon Valley to explore the relationship of education and technology as allies in a mission to help students and teachers become successful, well informed, responsible citizens of the digital age.

Jill Witt
Oliver Middle - Broken Arrow
Attend a language and cultural immersion program for teachers in Guanajuato, Mexico, to enrich lessons with personal experiences presented in more in depth and varied methods with improved linguistic skills.

High Schools

Liz Haughey, Amanda Trower
Booker T. Washington High - Tulsa
Nathan Hale High - Tulsa
Tour museums, homes and historic sites across Northeast America to observe how literature and history intertwine to form the American culture and engage AP literature, US government and American history students.

April Cole
Barnsdall High - Barnsdall
Research through the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, FL, the destruction of flora and fauna along America’s gulf cost as a result of the BP Deepwater oil spill to teach the delicate balances that knit ecosystems together and the role humans play in this system.

Karen Evans
Yukon High - Yukon
Research the interconnectedness of chemistry and art with renown art restorers and conservation labs in Florence and Rome to develop lessons linking the creativity of art and the qualitative/quantitative aspects of science for all 15 sections of the school’s chemistry department.

Pamella Garvin
Freshman Academy - Jenks
Research at the Zomi Education Center in Kuala Lumpur the teaching and culture of Zomi students immigrating from the Chin state of Myanmar to improve instruction and communication with a cultural group comprising 40% of the school’s English Language Development Program.

Sherri Gleaves
Francis Tuttle Technology Center - Oklahoma City
Participate in a workshop produced by Sneak on the Lot in Burbank, CA, to better understand all production phases of the filmmaking process and teach skills/strategies for student success in this industry.

Cassie Nodine
Coweta High - Coweta
Document literature, songs and folktales of Peru’s indigenous people to better understand how geography is mirrored in poetry and inform a comparison study of Peruvian versus Oklahoman Native American literature.

Robin Leach*
Edison Preparatory School - Tulsa
Join an educational tour of Vienna and Prague studying the development of European art and architecture to educate students on the nexus of history and culture, particularly pertaining to visual arts.

Other Schools

Brandon Tucker
Mid-Del Technology Center - Midwest City
Mirror the Pixar team’s creative process behind the animated feature film “Cars” by retracing their Route 66 research/road trip to inspire students’ creativity, improve writing skills and emphasize how the creative design process is essential in successful careers.

* Indicates a team

Thank you, Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, for your collaboration in selecting this year’s Fellows.

For the first time, teachers from across America could apply for Fund for Teachers grants this year. Congratulations to these educators from our Midwest Region awarded grants to pursue their self-designed fellowships this summer:

Amy Brewer, David Brewer - Northbrook Middle, Mendota, IL
Join an educator’s tour of New Zealand, researching geology and the Maori culture, to develop cross disciplinary lessons that inspire students to learn the work of scientists, writers and researchers while infusing a global perspective into the core curriculum. 

Abbey Evans, Jared Totsch - Culver Family Learning Center, Evansville, ILCollaborate with fellow educators in Reggio Emilia, Italy, to gain core knowledge on preschool and infant toddler care centers and foster in-depth projects that develop children’s skills in constructing their own knowledge.

Mary Sorrells - Laurel School/Brookville Elementary, Brookville, IN
Mary Hilger - Indian Springs Middle, Fort Wayne, IN
Compare contemporary and ancient mosaic history, theory, and application in Venice, CA, Venice, FL and Venice, Italy, to integrate a collaborative and individual mosaic unit with students in grades K-8.

Amy Wadsworth - Presentation Academy, Louisville, KY
Investigate the significant role of women in rebuilding Rwanda after the 1994 genocide and implementing a unit focusing on womens’ empowerment and the changing role of women in our world.

Connie Cox - Brittany Hill Middle, Lee’s Summit, MO
Film key European World War II sites to inform the district’s new middle school Honors History curriculum and facilitate a student-made documentary of local war heroes.

Jill Meyer, Becky Koeller, Sue Ellen Minich, Gina Muller - Kirkwood High, Kirkwood, MO
Participate in a teacher training program in Cuba focusing on Spanish language pedagogy, culture, history and nature, to examine how personal expression is affected by government and facilitate student discussions on the zeitgeist of both Cuba and America.

Melissa Kandido - Beveridge Magnet Middle, Omaha, NE
Examine Namibian history and culture through performing, visual and utilitarian arts to create a hands-on curriculum that increases global awareness through videos, distance learning, service learning and realia.

Tracy Greeley Howard, Pam Kravetz - William Henry Harrison High, Cincinnati, OH
Participate in a traditional marionette making and animation workshop in Prague, learning technical drawing, woodcarving, costume making, puppet manipulation, and marionette history and animation techniques, to teach Sculpture and Fibers Arts connections between historical and contemporary art making. 

Coleen Moskowitz - Perry High School, Perry, OH
Participate in the Independent Student Media Summer Workshop in Hollywood to develop production skills in young film makers during an after school program targeting at-risk students.

Congratulations to these Twin Cities teachers awarded grants to pursue their self-designed fellowships this summer:

Elementary Schools

Woody Woodward - The Blake School - Hopkins
Attend the 10th World Symposium on Choral Music and conduct local school visits in Seoul, South Korea, to gain experience listening and observing music that centers around diverse world cultures.

Sue Smukler - Phalen Lake Hmong Studies Magnet, St. Paul
Investigate Karen daily life and education in Thai refugee camps, orphanages and villages to better access students’ cultural and personal experiences and develop more effective teaching strategies.

Rita Dahl - Horace Mann School, St. Paul
Observe and document polar bears in their natural summer tundra environment of Hudson Bay, Canada, to inform a shared social studies/science research writing project for Grade 3 Writer’s Workshop.

Kelly Gibson - Riverview Elementary, St. Paul
Participate in Centro Panamericano de Idiomas Spanish Immersion Program in Costa Rica while observing the country’s biodiversity to improve communication with students/families and enhance elementary life science units.

Karen Henry- Benjamin E. Mays IB World School, St. Paul
Attend the International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs (ICCHP) in Paris to learn strategies for integrating technology into the classroom and inspiring excitement for learning through educational engagement.

Mee Kong - Jackson Elementary, St. Paul
Observe the daily lives of Hmong in Vietnam, Laos and Thailand to gain a deeper understanding to effectively teach students to appreciate the beauty of their culture and language.

Sherry Kuhn- Jackson Elementary, St. Paul
Investigate the history of the Hmong and their culture in China to create materials that supplement and extend the current district Hmong Studies curriculum.

High Schools

Martin Appelbaum - AGAPE High, St. Paul
Study classical, renaissance and modern architecture across Italy to develop a Housing and Design Course that compares and contrasts styles with American designs.

Teresa Blascyk, Lona Tenpas - Southwest High, Minneapolis
Research the Galapagos Island’s biodiversity and historical significance as the birthplace of Darwin’s theory of evolution to design an engaging framework for Biology 1 and district-wide Biology 2 units on Evolution and Ecology.

Lisa Boehlke - LEAP High, St. Paul
Investigate Karen daily life and education in Thai refugee camps, orphanages and villages to better access students’ cultural and personal experiences and develop more effective teaching strategies.

Tim Larson, Luke Larson - Como Park Senior High, St. Paul
Collaborate with a University of Wyoming professor to create land surveying activities/labs that innovatively instruct high school students in specific state standards geometry topics.

Gina Housman Nieder - The Blake School, Hopkins
Attend the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese Conference in Panama, then explore the country’s culture, history and global influence, to integrate these experiences into classroom lessons and more effectively engage native Spanish-speaking students.

Emily Kjesbo-Johnson - Washington Tech Secondary, St. Paul
Explore how South Africa’s history of Apartheid continues to affect issues of racial injustice, self worth, motivation and academic achievement to inform discussions on social justice and build a math curriculum based on the principals of reconciliation.

Jeanie Robert- Red Wing High, Red Wing
An educator expedition to the Amazon rainforest through the Minnesota Zoo to incorporate inquiry-based exploration and STEM-based problem solving and connect Biology and Environmental Chemistry students’ lives/actions with global issues of the world.

Sarah Swoboda - White Bear Lake Area High, White Bear Lake
Enroll in a Spanish language and culture course for teachers at the Academia Buenos Aires to develop language skills, experience life in Argentina and guide the learning of Spanish II students.

Dan Lejeune - The Blake School, Hopkins
Attend the 10th World Symposium on Choral Music and conduct local school visits in Seoul, South Korea, to gain experience listening and observing music that centers around diverse world cultures.

Laura Byard - Sullivan, Minneapolis
Enhance current efforts to assimilate K-8 Somali refugee students by observing schools and home life in Northern Somalia under the guidance of a UN employee to extend language development and deepen cultural understanding.

Other Schools

James Kindle, Kaitlin Lindsey - Sullivan, Minneapolis
Enhance current efforts to assimilate K-8 Somali refugee students by observing schools and home life in Northern Somalia under the guidance of a UN employee to extend language development and deepen cultural understanding.

Debra Blondeau, Juli Evers - Hospital Agencies - Minneapolis
Participate in a Creativity Workshop in Florence, Italy, to expand the realm of educational possibilities that empower hospitalized students to respond creatively to physical, emotional and educational challenges.

Patty Gardner - Bridge View, St. Paul
Train early childhood teachers in Raruowa, Kenya, on the use of picture books in classroom instruction while observing their teaching methods to enhance knowledge, empathy and understanding of ELL families.

Thank you, Saint Paul Public Schools Foundation, AchieveMPLS and The Blake School, for your collaboration in selecting this year’s Fellows.

Adrienne Williams, special education teacher at Northwestern Middle School in Zachary, LA, was awarded a Fund for Teachers grant to attend the Autism Society National Conference in Indianapolis this July. She designed this particular fellowship to learn research-based strategies and interventions for motivating academic success and social skills of students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.

In addition to keynote speakers, Williams will network with other professionals from across the country  to learn methods of improving social interactions, communication skills and decreasing repetitive behaviors — all vital for helping students lead a more normal life.

"Meeting the unique needs of my students so that they each show continuous academic and social success is my teaching philosophy," said Williams. "Therefore, this fellowship affords me knowledge and growth that will subsequently provide the appropriate support for these students to develop meaningful, lifelong relationships and the ability to live a self-sufficient life after high school."

Williams plans to share her knowledge with peers and families this fall in Zachary. She will present her findings to feeder schools’ special education teachers and host a family-oriented workshop geared at helping siblings engage in positive interactions and better manage behavior problems.

Congratulations to these Wisconsin teachers awarded grants to pursue their self-designed fellowships this summer:

Alyssa Appleton, Lyn Cederholm, Amy Fassbender, Tina Greisen, Bridget Marsh, Laurie Meixelsperger, Pam Smith, Dawn Soulier, Michelle Zirbel - Heritage Elementary School, Waunakee
Participate in the Professional Learning Community Institute in Lincolnshire, IL, to learn strategies for increasing the school staff’s ability to assess and improving instruction. 

Sarah Binversies, Jenny Sloniker - Madison Elementary School, Manitowoc
Participate in the Teachers College Summer Reading Workshop at Columbia University in New York City to develop skills in teaching and assessing the reading process, integrating Common Core State Standards and maximizing student achievement and growth.

Nicole Blohm, Alissa Christopherson - Pershing Elementary School, Milwaukee
Visit students’ families in Mexico and Nicaragua while exploring ancient civilizations and unique landforms to deepen relationships among the largely Latino school community and facilitate students’ knowledge of their cultural roots in Mesoamerica.

Rachel Blum, Sadie Boss, Beth O’Connor, Allison Utter - Franklin Elementary School, West Allis
Attend the Teachers College Summer Writing Institute at Columbia University in New York City to implement the writers workshop model and improve instruction for struggling writers.

Sarah Duerre, Karla Harings-Post, Kou Moua, Angie Printz - Longfellow Elementary School, Eau Claire
Observe cultural and educational norms in Chai Thong, Thailand, to develop as culturally-sensitive teachers and add aspects of immigrant students’ home country into a heavily-Eurocentric curriculum.

Tina Janssen - Jackson Elementary, Janesville
Discover how Germany teaches aerospace-related science in award-winning schools, school labs, museums and science centers to incorporate these STEM strategies and improve student investigation and problem solving skills.

Janet Key - Lowell Elementary School, Milwaukee
Participate in the Smithsonian Science Education Academies for Teachers in Washington D.C. to create inquiry-based units that foster thinkers and learners more fully engaged in their education.  

Melissa Lantz, Hollie Marshall, Ann Marshall - Madison Elementary School, Janesville
Investigate animal habitats in Australia, home to the most endangered species in the world, to model Guided Inquiry Research and integrate science, writing, research and technology into one habitat unit.

Anthony Lauer - Rufus King International School, Milwaukee
Interview and observe the work of America’s leaders in the field of design — including renown design firms and university professors — to inject a  practical, creative problem solving curriculum into the current Fine Arts requirement.

Joy Leineweber, Barbara Nagel - Jefferson Elementary School, Richland Center
Enroll in the Teachers College Summer Institute for the Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University in New York City to develop a vertically-aligned writing workshop curriculum that helps students voice their experiences, grow in self-confidence and develop higher level thinking skills.

Lynn Little, Lori Lowe, Beth Ulring, Amanda Werner , Lisa Witt - Roosevelt Elementary School, Janesville
Participate in the Teachers College Summer Writing Institute at Columbia University in New York City to enhance writing skills of gifted 3rd-5th grade students.

Veronica Ocampo de Rocha - Greenfield Bilingual School, Milwaukee
Collaborate with faculty and students of Nepal’s Kathmandu University to make a comparative analysis of mathematics education and synthesize current pragmatic instruction with philosophy and expressions of patterns in the natural world. 

Jen Schrab - Jefferson Elementary School, Janesville
Explore in South Africa parallels between the anti-apartheid and civil rights movements to highlight nonviolent ideology, enhance multicultural lessons and help students become ethical world citizens.

Congratulations to these San Francisco teachers awarded grants to pursue their self-designed fellowships this summer:

Lindsay Aguiao, Jhulsany Futol, Pam Gee - Longfellow Elementary School
Attend the Teachers College Summer Writing Program at Columbia University in New York to refine a balanced literacy approach that responds to varied student needs through the integration of assessment-driven instruction.  

Crystal Alvarado - James Lick Middle School
Explore artistic traditions and architecture of Mesoamerica in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico to construct engaging lessons that awaken students’ imaginations about personal connections to the ancient Mayans.

Philly Berro, Michelle Kim - Alvarado Elementary School
Volunteer as visiting teachers at Priory Woods School & Arts College in Middlesbrough, England - a school serving children with severe learning difficulties and profound and multiple needs - to learn techniques for helping students communicate their needs, preferences and emotions while accessing curriculum and meeting state standards.

Pat Caenenpeel, Joshua Wartens, Jackie Zuzow - Visitacion Valley Elementary School
Participate in the Teachers College Reading and Writing Workshops at Columbia University in New York City to effectively develop curriculum and best practices needed to ensure that students are prepared and successful in literacy.

Candy Cheung, Karen Lee, Jing Wen - Sheridan Elementary School
Attend the Teachers College Reading and Writing Workshop at Columbia University in New York City to incorporate reading and writing lessons for each language arts genre of the Common Core State Standards, specifically narrative, information and opinion.

Lisa Cowles - El Dorado Elementary School
Volunteer with an organization in the Dominican Republic dedicated to establishing social justice for girls through education to create a similar service learning project utilizing the Nobis Global Action Model.

Sue Gonzalez - Taylor Elementary School
Study with an expert in Ntonso, Ghana, the Adinkra symbols and then volunteer with a sister school in Elmina on an illustrated Adinkra book that presents universal values and shared perspectives of Ghanian peers.

Taica Hsu - Mission High School
Partner with the Lambda Youth Network, a project of Germany’s Lesbian and Gay Federation in Berlin, to model their efforts to create safer spaces for LGTBQ youth through student-led workshops, peer-to-peer education and political activism to combat homophobia and bullying at school.

Christine Leishman, Jan Reilly, Carol Siddle - Commodore Sloat Elementary School
Participate in the Teachers College Reading and Writing Workshop at Columbia University in New York to formulate an overarching K-5 literacy plan to support students’ success in the rigorous demands of Common Core.

SeaAnna Patrick - El Camino
Enroll in the University of Havana’s Spanish immersion program and classes at cultural centers in Santiago de Cuba to explore the African influence on Cuban culture, expand students’ concepts of Latino identity and facilitate dialogue between cultures.

Leon Sultan - Abraham Lincoln High School
Conduct research and interviews in Croatia,  focusing on the break up of the former Yugoslavia and the history of ethno-religious conflict, to introduce students to geographical fieldwork and serves as a model for their personal fieldwork in San Francisco.

Robin Yorkey - San Francisco Community Elementary School
Shadow a literacy support specialist around multiple Balanced Literacy classrooms in New York City and, afterwards, participate in the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University to strengthen instruction and narrow the achievement gap in the classroom and throughout the school. 

Thank you, San Francisco Education Fund, for your collaboration in selecting this year’s Fellows.