PEF Announces 2014 Fund For Teachers Fellows

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

For the third year in a row, Hamilton County public school teachers have earned grants to travel across the globe this summer so they can come back and share what they learned with their students. The grants are made possible by the national nonprofit Fund for Teachers in partnership with PEF.

Each year HCDE teachers can apply to PEF for a Fund for Teachers grant.  Teachers can apply for $5,000 as an individual or $10,000 as a team.  Fund for Teachers allots $100,000 in grant money for Hamilton County public school teachers. 

"Because we believe that teachers know best what will make them better, each year teachers are invited to design summer learning experiences that will have the greatest impact on their students, school and community," says Leslie Graitcer, PEF's Fund for Teachers Director. "Our goal is to empower teachers to be learners again so that they can return to the classroom with renewed energy and creative ideas that spur powerful student learning." 

24 HCDE teachers have been awarded 2014 Fund for Teachers grants: 

1) Alpine Crest Elementary teacher Christina Cryder will explore the life and work of Galileo at key sites across Italy and encourage students to, in the Galilean model, experience science and math learning, not just acquire knowledge. 

2) Barger Academy teachers Allison Fuller-Mulloy and Megan McDill will explore connections between geometric patterns and imagery dominant in the native arts of India to facilitate students’ understanding of shapes, lines, patterns and symmetry in STEM disciplines.

3) Battle Academy teacher Cynthia Kean, Lookout Valley Elementary teacher Joy Cliett, Red Bank Elementary teacher Jamelie Johns and Wallace A. Smith Elementary teacher Michelle Lowe will participate in the Elementary Mathematics Laboratory teaching and research project at the University of Michigan School of Education to extend teaching practices and coaching knowledge. 

4) Brainerd High teachers Dale Dworak and Rachel Swafford-Cook will teach English in a Ghana school to experience the workings of a village economy and explore how it is affected by non-government organizations to create cross-curricular lessons for economics, African American history, government and leadership students.

5) Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences teacher Ben Schultz will visit the Andean, Amazonian and coastal regions of Ecuador to examine the ramifications of adopting the U.S. dollar as the official currency and how various cultural and ethnic groups maintain cultural identities while improving their economy through ecotourism and sustainable development. 

6) Hamilton County High teacher Rachel Goan will visit New York City landmarks while interviewing inner-city social organizations to research strategies for combating truancy, crime, poverty and other social issues impeding student achievement in Hamilton County.

7) Hixson High teacher Brinn Dalton will conduct a two month, self-guided tour of Russia’s natural environments, cultural sites and historical landmarks to enhance social studies instruction and establish an on-line collaboration with Russian students learning English. 

8) Hixson Middle teacher Jeremy Henderson will follow historically-significant portions of the Lewis and Clark Trail, learning about their journey, the resulting westward expansion and the impact on Native American tribes, to create new units with an emphasis on student-led research projects.

9) Normal Park Museum Magnet teachers Sue Nelson and Jamie Tipton will retrace Colonial American sites along the east coast to examine, from varying perspectives, the ramifications of events and decisions on people past and present. 

10) Orchard Knob Elementary teachers Lori Cleveland and Danette Jewell will participate in the Highly Effective Teaching Summer Institute in Lake Tahoe, CA to translate brain research into practical instruction strategies that create a stronger learning community, increase student capacity and grow responsible citizens.

11) Red Bank High teacher Leah Keith-Houle will work alongside scientists and undergraduates to map the islands of St. Thomas, St. Criox and San Salvador and create with students a web-based, open source map incorporating STEM principles for hurricane preparedness. 

12) Red Bank High teacher Jaime Kerns will participate in language program in Havana and, afterwards, join a 22-day tour of Cuba to develop a comprehensive view of the nation that sparks students’ natural curiosity through cross-curricular lessons.

13) Soddy Daisy High teachers Gilbert Highlander and David Wehunt will investigate the basis of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution in the Galapagos Islands to develop a science unit that emphasizes the interaction of biologic and geologic processes and the effect of these processes on ecosystem development. 

14) Tyner Academy teachers Cynthia and John Cooper will research the geometric layout and design of Paris to create a detailed analysis of the city’s evolution and demonstrate synergies between math, physics and science in a real-world application.

15) Woodmore Elementary teacher Ashley Frogg will attend iPadpalooza in Austin, TX, and, afterwards, visit five cities with resources most aligned with the school’s literacy curriculum to build four iTunesU courses incorporating purposeful technology that prepare students for achievement with Common Core. 

Through PEF's partnership with the Bradley Cleveland Public Education Foundation, for the first time this year, teachers from Bradley County Schools and Cleveland City Schools will receive grants, thanks to an additional $40,000 provided by Fund for Teachers:

1) Cleveland City Schools teacher Victoria Pritchard will join the New Jersey Commission on a Holocaust Education tour of Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland and Amsterdam - led by a survivor - to encourage students inquiry into the essential question, “When do people need to get involved with how others are treated?” 

2) Cleveland High teacher Erin Hattabaugh will interview healthcare professionals in the United Kingdom, known for its successful social medicine and educational practices, to prepare students for careers in America’s changing medical industry.

3) Ernest L. Ross Elementary teacher Tonya Mullinax will observe and experience the cultures, climate, landforms, flora and fauna of Alaska to develop a working knowledge of content covered in state standards and infuse classroom projects with energized teaching. 

4) Walker Valley High teacher Christian Mann will experience across French battlefields and museums the 100-year commemoration of World War I to guide students toward empathy armed with an understanding of global interaction and their role in the world.

5) Walker Valley High teachers Sarah Garrett and Mandy Picchiottino will research the lives, surroundings and culture of early New England writers to gain deeper insight into their works and create literature lessons that bring enhance students’ critical thinking, reading, and writing skills. 

6) Walker Valley High teachers Rachel Hicks & Ann Pickens will study in Athens, Tinos and Mykonos, Greece, how a culture rich in archaic poetry, heroic ethos and religion influenced the politics of Plato and Aristotle to further student understanding of the evolution of political thought.

7) Walker Valley High teachers Kerri Shrestha and Lori Tipton will trek and bike through the Andes Mountains and Amazon Rainforest ecosystems, to document and demonstrate for students factors that influence the adaptations for survival of living organisms in extreme environments. 

Hamilton County, Bradley County and Cleveland City School teachers can apply for 2015 Fund for Teachers grants starting in October.

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