Students and teachers in five district schools will be visited Tuesday by the “SEF Prize Stampede,” made up of Foundation Board members and top donors; the excitement will be apparent as award winners are presented with supersized checks. Teachers who submitted grant applications for new and innovative teaching ideas and curricular enhancements will be awarded from just under $500 for a specific classroom initiative to $1,500 for initiatives that involve instructional teams. The grants monies were accepted at the November 12th meeting of the Shallowater ISD Board of Trustees.
These awards, according to Foundation President Lloyd Caballero, represent a dramatic increase in the number of submissions and the number of awards given by the Foundation in this, the second year of its existence. “The grants also represent strong community support for achieving educational excellence in the schools and at a level beyond the reach of limited state funding and school property tax capacity. Donations—large and small—from across the community were pooled, grant applications were solicited and evaluated…and the result, we think, will provide a substantial boost to individual teachers and the district as a whole to strengthening student achievement.”
Shallowater ISD Superintendent Phil Warren agrees, “The district has undertaken some bold steps as the result of a bond that was recently passed—including several construction projects that will directly impact students next year—to strengthen learning and to prepare them to productively meet the challenges of a future that, in all likelihood, will require skills and knowledge well beyond what today requires. The support of the Foundation gives our efforts a great deal of ‘lift’” in reaching classroom instruction goals; it empowers talented teachers to take the learning several steps further.
The awards include grants for instructional technology and a multi-campus presentation by a well known motivational speaker. Each of the awards will support instructional initiatives during the 2012-13 school year and beyond, notes Dr. Kenny Border, Middle School Principal. “While these activities will directly benefit students enrolled in these schools and programs, the academic boost that it will give these students will last a lifetime. Most the grants entail resources that are durable, benefiting a succession of students for years to come...”
“The Foundation is delighted and proud to serve as a catalyst for educational innovation.” Border continues. “It would not be possible without private donations, regional entities like the Texas Pioneer Foundation, and a substantial investment of time and creativity by the district’s instructional staff.”