Foundation hands out grants to teachers
Money once again came back into the Baldwin School District, thanks to the innovative project grant recipients.
On Friday, members of the Baldwin Education Foundation surprised 14 district educators with checks for their grants. A total of $4,650 was given out this year.
"We had a great day Friday delivering money," said Kathy Gerstner, BEF president. "It's always fun giving away money."
Each educator was surprised Friday as the prize patrol strolled into each classroom with balloons, a check and certificate. The prize patrol was comprised of several BEF board members and the building principals.
Shiloh Harlan, Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center second grade teacher, was thrilled to receive the money for her project.
"I was in the middle of giving a spelling test," Harlan said. "I was surprised, but wasn't quite sure what was going on. After I saw the superintendent, I realized what was happening.
"I was thrilled to receive the grant," Harlan said. "It will allow me to buy 14 sets of books for the second graders. This is a good start to helping our small group instruction."
The projects range from hydrogen and oxygen rockets to Spanish magazines to music notation software.
"The Board was excited when we saw the variety of proposals," said Patty Irick, BEF president. " This is our second year to fund grants and again we were impressed with the quality of the applications we received from our outstanding faculty. One of last year's grant recipients, Kathy Dorsey, received a Kansas Economics Teacher of the Year award. We were so proud of her and believe that reflects the quality of proposals we received."
Gerstner said the foundation received about the same number of applications as last year, but some new and exciting ideas.
"We had a wide diversity of projects this year," Gerstner said. "The projects touch a lot of childrens' lives. They are more hands-on, innovative projects that are based in the classroom."
Neosho County Community College is partnering with the foundation on the award of $500 to Nikki Burnett, BHS Chemistry teacher.
"We felt our donation was a terrific opportunity to be a partner in education. Our contribution allows the Foundation to be able to do more for the students in the district," said Mark Eldridge, BEF board member and Neosho County Community College executive director for community relations Ottawa campus.
Money for the grants was raised from the State of the District Breakfast last March, the foundation's meet and greet Aug. 9 and from alumni donations. Supt. Paul Dorathy spoke at the breakfast that attracted 125 people. This year's event will take place at 7 a.m. March 13.
Dorathy was glad to raise the money then, but was even happier to help deliver the checks Friday.
"I really enjoyed Friday," Dorathy said. "It's nice to give money away. The nice thing is that money is going to go toward some really neat projects that children will benefit from. It was a great day."
Grant recipients are:
Nikki Burnett, BHS Chemistry, Hydrogen and Oxygen Rockets, $500 (in partnership with Neosho County Community College)
Juli O'Mealey-Hossain, BHS Vocal Music, Student/Instructor Self Assessment Through Rehearsal and Performance Recording using Handheld Digital Recorder, $500
Rachelle Rasing, BJHS Technology and Foreign Language, Computer World Young Entrepreneurs, $500
Shiloh Harlan, BESPC second Grade, Operation Leveled Readers, $500
Rita Tutschulte, Vinland/Marion Springs Library Media Specialist, Create-a-Book, $500
Kathleen Dorsey, BESIC fifth Grade, Real Life Economics, $400
Pat Wittry, BHS Spanish, Spanish Magazines, $500
Will Cooper, BHS Instrumental Music, Music Notation Software, $500
JoAnn Heins, BESIC fourth Grade, Traveling Scientist, $500
Life Skill Team (Carrie Enick, Janet Kelly, Michelle Johnson, Ruth Foehringer and Barbara Schwering), BJHS, Life Skills Class, $250