Members of the Port Aransas Education Foundation carried balloons, shot confetti in the air and awarded 67 grants to Port Aransas ISD teachers and administrators on Monday, April 29.
In previous years, a district wide assembly was held at Doyle Marek Gym, and every teacher who was awarded a grant was called to the front to pick up their check. This year, a large contingency of PAEF members surprised Brundrett Middle School and Port Aransas High School grant winners in their classrooms. At H.G. Olsen Elementary School, every teacher was called to the front of the gym during a morning ceremony.
The grants totaled $177,424.26, according to Wendy Moore, a PAEF spokesman.
A check for $30,000 was awarded to all of the district’s campuses to purchase new Clever Touch devices. A Clever Touch is a multi-functional smart TV that allows teachers to use education software and apps to deliver more engaging lesson plans, according to the Clever Touch website.
Here’s a listing of the rest of the grants:
H.G. Olsen Elementary School
• Teacher Amanda Tipps was awarded $2,050 to take students on a field trip to the Corpus Christi Symphony in 2020, and she received $1,194.43 to attend a Texas Music Educators Association convention.
• Teacher Gretchen Baughman received grants of $7,685 for Education Galaxy test prep material; $5,000 for a science collaboration with the University of Texas Marine Science Institute and OES science program; and $650 for a field trip to Katy.
• Teacher Cindy Moats was granted $1,979 for the spelling bee and $630 for Formative Loop math practice drills.
• A $7,630 grant was awarded to Teacher Carly Carlough for reading instruction books.
• Teacher Kendra Kuehler received $7,669.51 for reading instruction books and $236.96 for Words that Sing.
• Teacher Kristen Spaeth was awarded $168.87 for a Califone headphone; $1,582.96 for carpeting, shelving and seating; and $104.36 for Justand, an iPad document camera.
• Teacher Merry Fore received a grant for $270.68 to purchase shelving and colored ink and $253.78 for first-grade math books.
• Teacher Janet Conner was awarded grants of $4,537.06 and $129.89 to purchase collaborative learning tables and earbuds for technology.
• Teacher Suzy Kleinhans was granted $4,537.06 for collaborative learning tables.
• A grant of $2,443 was awarded to principal Kelye Garcie to purchase classroom chairs.
• Reading specialist Lauren
Sanders received a Leveled Literacy Intervention grant for $2,443.
Brundrett Middle School
• Teacher Brett Gips received a grant of $4,639.44 to purchase strength and conditioning equipment for athletics.
• Teacher Michelle Parker was awarded $803.54 to buy books to inspire kindness and empathy.
• Teacher Lia Phillips was granted $5,931 for Explore Learning, math and science simulation libraries, and $5,000 for a UTMSI and BMS science collaborative program.
• Assistant band director Ryan Thornberry received grants of $1,984.92 for band media, and $1,936.55 for whiteboards to install in the BMS band hall.
• Principal James Garrett was awarded $1,500 for Positive Behavior Interventions and Support awards and $1,320 to purchase BMS Pride shirts.
Port Aransas High School
• Teacher Ryan Piwetz received six grants totaling $20,345. His grants included $10,000 to renovate the shop classroom into an innovation lab; $3,800 for advanced placement supplies; $2,497 for instructional training for physics; $1,800 for 3-D printing operations; $1,618 for CAST science exhibits; and $630 for Challenge 3.0.
• Teacher Thom Driver was granted $2,405 for Microsoft Office certifications.
• Teacher Valerie Martinez was awarded grants for $3,700 to purchase Creativity Takes Courage classroom material; $3,200 for Natural Helpers, a peer-helping program; and $1,893 to attend the Texas Art Education Association Conference.
• Teacher Jackie McDaniel was awarded grants of $2,786.94 for advanced placement biology materials; $1,636 for advanced placement training; and $1,200 for science pantry classroom materials.
• Teacher Melanie Johnson was granted $1,606.05 for new science lab equipment.
• Teacher Suzanne Dietzel was awarded four grants. They consisted of $5,375.34 for University Interscholastic League technology supplies; $3,272.42 for advanced placement language textbooks; $1,373 to attend the Advanced Placement Summer Institute; and $398.75 to purchase language arts study materials.
• Incoming teacher Bobbie Morton was awarded $1,700 for computer science curriculum and $1,556 for computer science teacher training.
• Testing coordinator Penny Pillack was awarded $4,000 for advanced placement testing materials.
• Teacher Dana Hawkins received grants for $2,700.55 for student renaissance educational software and $2,499.20 for spirited inquiry training materials.
• New PAHS Principal David Swartwout and outgoing principal Jim Potts combined to receive a $6,670 grant for the University of Texas OnRamps dual enrollment program.
Port Aransas ISD
• District librarian Meghan Zigmond received three grants. That meant $2,000 for dual credit funds at the high school; $1,000 for OverDrive E-books; and $275 for Breakout EDU Boxes, which are instructional digital games.
• Superintendent Sharon McKinney was awarded $1,500 to welcome new teachers.