Local Teachers Go MAD Over Grants From Highline Schools Foundation


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The Highline Schools Foundation awarded $31,608 in Excel/MAD grants to 54 teachers at 30 different schools at Highline Public Schools this week.

The Foundation’s Excel Grant program was created to support classroom innovation in our district, and to provide teachers resources they need to help our students be successful. An Excel Grant is an award of $50 to $1,000 for a specific project. The Foundation applauds each teacher’s dedication to providing the best possible education for our students. The Grant Review Committee (comprised of Foundation Trustees) had a very difficult time selecting grants to fund with so many original and worthwhile projects!

MAD Grants come from Chris Blumenthal, a graduate of Grant High School in Portland, OR (1981) and Nanci Tangeman, a graduate of Mt. Rainier High School in Des Moines, WA (1979). They started MAD Grants in 2002 after Chris heard a radio story about a couple in Boston who had started a grant program for teachers in their school district as a way to give back to their community. They donate money each year to the Foundation to fund a number of projects.

“Giving grants to educators to provide enriching experiences for students is one of the many ways our Highline Schools Foundation contributes to Highline Schools. It is also one of the most rewarding events for our trustees,” Foundation President Chuck Tuman said. “We appreciate the hard work our educators do and how much they spend from their own pockets to help their students–and we know these grants help,” Chuck added.

Here are some photos of the grant winners, courtesy Fran Doniego:

Melissa Struyk, Global Connections High School, cheers as she receives a $1,000 grant from the Highline Schools Foundation to help support a school-wide Shakespeare immersion unit. Melissa is Language Arts and Art Teacher.

Tonni Best, Math Coach at Chinook Middle School, receives $203 from the Foundation to purchase chess boards, dice, and decks of cards to help students with overall number sense, logical thinking and problem solving skills.

Kate Hennesy-Fiske is pictured here with her Beginning English Language Learners students after receiving a $600 grant from the Highline Schools Foundation to take her Social Studies/Writing class on a field trip to the State Capitol. The Senior Government class will join them on the field trip and act as interpreters.

Some of the other recipients include:

Terre Salzer, Librarian at Hill Top Elementary
Project: Wildlife Exploration 1st & 2nd and Wildlife Experiences 5th & 6th
“I believe that being aware of our surroundings encourages us to lead a more responsible life. To that end, I would like to pique student interest in the OUTDOOR world around them by providing classroom investigation programs offered through the Tacoma Nature Center, with the cooperation of the Tahoma Audubon Society.” Terre Salzer

Jenny Lin, First Grade Teacher at Shorewood Elementary
Project: Reading Mastery Book Bags
“Many students who are struggling in reading lack confidence and give up when they come to a difficult word … Reading Mastery provides special text that helps students identify vowel sounds, diagraphs and other spelling patterns that make reading difficult for these students. With this support, students are able to read for the first time and build confidence every day reading their story books.” ~ Jenny Lin

Jim Seaman, 6th Grade Teacher at Mount View Elementary
“Our scholars often do not envision themselves attending a university. They have limited personal and family experience of college. We are contacting various UW organizations to arrange for ambassadors to lead chaperoned small group tours of libraries, lecture halls, and science/engineering and art buildings, followed by a Q&A session.” ~ Jim Seaman

A complete list of this year’s winners can be found on the Highline Schools Foundation website: http://www.highlineschoolsfoundation.org.

More photos can be found on the Foundation’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/HighlineSchoolsFoundation

The Highline Schools Foundation for Excellence was established in 1999 with the purpose of providing community resources to help Highline Public Schools succeed. We believe that by helping to enrich the classroom and school experience, we can engage students to reach a higher level of learning, and the entire community will benefit. The Foundation is governed by a dedicated group of volunteer Trustees and is the only 501(c)(3) organization supporting all Highline Public Schools.

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One Response to “Local Teachers Go MAD Over Grants From Highline Schools Foundation”
  1. Kathy says:

    Thanks for posting this article about the grants. My daughter, Jennifer Fichamba, the College and Career Specialist on the Evergreen Campus received one ot the grants so the students who want to attend South Seattle CC can take the COMPUS test.

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