Winners of the Tecumseh Education Foundation’s (TEF) 2017-2018 Teacher Grant awards were recognized in front of the home crowd on Feb. 2 during the Arrows’ home basketball game.

TEF President, Kevin Harmon, Tecumseh Local Schools’ Asst. Superintendent, Paula Crew, and New Carlisle Optimist Club President, Sue Ann Martin, presented monies and certificates to the following TEF Teacher Grant awardees:

Park Layne Elementary

Gaybrielle Ray

Stephanie Koronich

Donnelsville Elementary

Heidi Kottmyer

New Carlisle Elementary

Karen Krogg

Derek Hord

Angela Greene

Helen Collins

Tecumseh Middle School

Tonya Collinsworth/Emily Smith (project partners)

Stacy Blackburn/Christi Leggett (project partners)

Tecumseh High School

Cathy Kendig

The TEF Teacher Grant program has supported educator innovation for over 25 years. The mini-grants are awarded to educators who design or expand their own educational project, providing the financial support needed to help make a new, original program a reality or sustain popular projects already in place. For Tecumseh Local School District (TLSD) students, the parameters help ensure their specific needs are being met through the winning projects.

All TLS educators are invited to compete for TEF grant monies, but competition can be stiff. Grant recipients can qualify for up to $750 for the supplies and materials necessary to carry out their distinctive project. The winning projects are as varied as the educators who create them.

First-time TEF Teacher Grant winner, Gaybrielle Ray, has worked in the district since 2016. She serves as a Library Aide at Park Layne Elementary School. Ray says her mini-grant will help expand and support Park Layne’s Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (S.T.E.A.M.) areas recently installed at the school.

“The funds awarded for the grant that I wrote, ‘S.T.E.A.M. Ahead to the Future,’ will be used to purchase items that support all Park Layne students and the many library books in the Park Layne Elementary School Library,” explains Ray. “(The items) will be great resources to use with our new creative tools in the S.T.E.A.M. areas where our students love to use their minds and hands to create and experiment. It is very important that all students are afforded the opportunity to be creative. Research has shown that girls, especially, really need to have the opportunity to use and develop the left side of their brains. This grant will support all students. I will be purchasing LEGOs designed for both boys and girls, magnetic tiles, magnifying glasses, musical instruments, and magnets.”

The number of TEF grants available depends on the amount of money donated towards the program. Ray, who also won an Altrusa Literacy grant for Park Layne in 2017, says the TEF mini-grants “are very important supportive tools for educators.”

“Teaching is a calling and many teachers are very passionate about educating each student as an individual. I have learned that grants help educators who go above and beyond what is expected to be able to purchase tools necessary for reaching all children and learning styles. I am constantly amazed at the creative minds our staff of educators have and how they are constantly working to find ways to meet all of their students learning style needs.”

There was a total of $6498.89 in grant monies available for the 2017-2018 mini-grants. Donations made by the New Carlisle Breakfast Optimist Club, New Carlisle’s Rotary Club, and individual donations towards the TEF made this year’s Teacher Grant awards possible.

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