Humble ISD Prize Posse distributes more than $243,000 in education grants

ByElizabeth J. Bohn

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Teachers throughout Humble ISD were happily surprised with applause, pom-poms, cowbells and shouts of encouragement on April 29 as the Humble ISD Education Foundation’s Prize Posse visited schools throughout the district awarding $243,661 in education grants to fund innovative teacher-designed programs.

Three school buses traveled through Humble ISD, visiting schools in Humble, Kingwood and Atascocita, where the foundation volunteers distributed giant-sized checks to deserving educators.

Each year, the foundation gives the opportunity to all employees in the district to apply for a grant. This year 67 projects were chosen for funding. These programs are designed to help Humble ISD students reach their full potential.

The winners of this year’s education grants are as follow:

Atascocita High School:

Sara Hansen, who designed a program for Representation and Health Care for All, received a grant of $2,583. The program seeks to ensure that students of all backgrounds and ethnicities have the opportunity to participate in the health care field. Jeffrey Mack received a grant of $6,910 for his program “Wireless Video for a Wireless World.” The funds will be used to finish the school’s mobile live production studio, which will facilitate video coverage of live events.

Atascocita Middle School:

Karl Koehler received a grant of $7,500 for his project, “Personalized Literacy Instruction: Growing Every Reader.” The project provides students at the secondary level a personalized adaptive literary program. Koehler also was awarded a $6,200 grant for his program “Building a Community: Student Ownership of the Culture.”

Autumn Creek Elementary:

Jennifer Duncan’s “You’ve Been Booked!” program helps students share the love of reading with each other by passing new and diverse picture books from class to class in a special tote bag. The program was awarded $998.

Autumn Ridge Middle School:

Rosalyn Sweat received a $2,897 grant for her program “Grand Marshals of Education.” The program features a parade that brings the community together to find the common bonds needed to support academic success.

Atascocita Springs Elementary:

Rachel Robinson’s “Hands on Math” program employs hands-on activities and games to allow students to interact with math in a different way. The program was awarded $507.

Creekwood Middle School:

Lynda Vinot received a $5,100 grant for the purchase of touch-screen Chromebooks for her program, “Opening the World for Special Minds,” which serves students with sensory needs and other cognitive deficits.

Education Support Services:

Quinn Perkins’ “Let’s Get Working!” project will support Campus-Based Enterprises at five different campuses. The program, which received a $7,972 grant, allows students to engage in entrepreneurial activities.

Elm Grove Elementary:

Tonya Hinojosa received a $3,442 grant for the program “Combining Coding and Community,” which encourages growth in community building, confidence and out-of-the-box thinking for students. Mary Nichols’ “From Crayons to College” program was awarded a grant of $1,363. The program helps students to go above and beyond basic academic expectations.

Fall Creek Elementary:

Kimberly Andrew’s “Engineering 3Dreams” program received a grant of $2,600. The program will expand the school library’s Makerspace by equipping students with 3D pens that are simple and easy to use.

Foster Elementary:

Jill Honeycutt received a grant of $1,140 for her program, “SOUNDS Like Learning to Read,” which allows kindergarten students to work with the sounds they know to learn the phonemes and graphemes of the English language.

Greentree Elementary:

Jessica Cannon received a grant of $756 for her program, “Welcome to Our School: It’s Great to Be a Gator.” The program helps students new to Greentree feel at home in the school.

Groves Elementary:

Karina Reyes’ “Jet Lag is for Amateurs” program aims to bring the world to students via literature. The program received a $1,470 grant.

Hidden Hollow Elementary:

Retta Bleiberg received a $965 award for “Calm Cool and Collected,” a program that enables every classroom teacher on campus to provide their students with a safe environment in which to regulate their emotions. Stefanie Patterson’s “Collaboration Corner,” program will allow educators to design spaces to give students collaboration areas. The program received a grant of $6,517. Monica Segura-Lopez received a grant of $5,000 for “Enhancing Lives with Clear Touch,” a program that incorporates meaningful, connected learning with daily student activities.

Humble Elementary:

Sara Rosenthal earned a grant of $2,500 for “Paws for Speech.” The grant will fund a program that uses support dogs to help with speech therapy.

Humble High School:

Poe Prochaska’s “Let’s Build a Business” program allows students to make and sell items and learn about the business world. The program received a grant of $551. Brandy Rood’s “Fine Arts Musical Project” will allow faculty, students and members of the community to collaboratively produce the musical The Addams Family. The project received a grant of $15,750. Amy Walker’s “Increasing the Effectiveness & Realism of a Districtwide Project-Based Learning Event” earned a grant of $5,005. The program uses advanced healthcare training products to increase the effectiveness and realism of a simulated healthcare emergency.

Humble Middle School:

Rachel Broadbear’s “Students Teaching Students” program allows high school orchestra students to be one-on-one after-school mentors to middle school orchestra students. The program received a $10,824 grant. Rochelle Purnell received a $6,800 grant for “STEAM Kids in the Kitchen 2022.” The project helps students learn the necessary skills to develop STEAM competencies in the kitchen.

Jack Fields Elementary:

Melissa Christensen received a $650 grant for the “Home is Where the Heart is School Connection,” project in which staff members visit specific school neighborhoods to welcome students and their families back for another school year.

Kingwood High School:

Laura Abel received $2,500 to fund the “Budget Challenge project, which offers a 10-week simulation in personal finance. Brittany Baugh’s “If the Worlds a Stage, then Let’s Make Better Costumes,” project earned $2,520. Terra Farmer earned a $4,519 grant for “The Future Scientist Initiative,” a program in which high school students will host science outreach programs at elementary and middle schools. Kevin McElroy’s “Engaging CTE students through the SIMS,” which lets students use programs generated by Knowledge Matter that simulate real-life scenarios. The program earned a grant of $6,700.

Kingwood Middle School:

Jessica Eisterhold received a $4,200 grant for “littleBits, bigLearning,” which helps students build connections between their core content classes and coding. Allyson Sullivan’s “In Touch with my Community” allows emerging bilingual students in the early stages of English language acquisition to use technology to aid in translation assistance.

Kingwood Park High School:

Cathy Buck’s program, “A Portable Classroom for Engaging Learners,” received a grant of $365 to provide folding lawn chairs and clip boards that can easily can be transported to an outdoor classroom or hallway. Buck also designed the “Don’t Buy the Posterboard!” program, which received a $360 grant to funding the purchase of podcasting equipment for student use.

Jamie DeBorde received a grant of $1,870 for the “Sensory Room” project, which will fund the creation of two sensory rooms for students in the SPEAK Social (Autism) and Behavior Continuum programs. Cassandra DeBottis received a grant for $9,950 for “Every Child Deserves a Front Row Seat,” which engages and stimulates student involvement in science. Glenn Taylor, earned a $3,330 grant for “Advancing STEM Data Collection, which will improve students’ college readiness.

Maplebrook Elementary:

Lisa Cooper received a $1,090 grant for her “Time to Learn and Play in K,” project which provides dramatic play-themed units to kindergarten and pre-k classes. Deanna Galeucia’s “Bonded Beary Close” program created a cultured campus that encourages student to bond with today’s society of mixed cultures. The project received a grant of $8,990. Darla Tinelli received a grant of $5,317 for “Bippity, Boppity, Boo,” a physical education program at five district campuses.

North Belt Elementary:

Delena Chatagnier’s “There’s No Place Like Home” program allows teachers to visit their students’ homes at the start of a new year. The program received a $317 grant. Randi Cormier earned a $2,808 grant for “Pretend + Purposeful Play = Proficiency,” which creates a unique and fun learning experience while increasing student engagement. Cala Craig, got a $1,482 grant for “It’s Cool to Be Kind” program, which uses literature to teach students that they are courageous.

Shawndece Fairrow’s “Girls Above Pressure Social Club” earned a $1,000 grant to help third- to fifth grade girls to connect to their campus and community. Lourdes Jenkins “Kindergarten Transformers” program will help transform kindergarten students’ learning environment. The program earned a $2,526 grant.

Arlene Jones received a $1,473 grant for “Pre-K’s Star Light, Star Bright Books,” which exposed students to literacy at an early age. Lesbia Rocha’s “Shaping Minds through Multisensory Learning” program, which provides students with tools to assist with personalized learning, received a $1,200 grant.

Kathryn Shaddix’s “Piecing Together Movement and Imagination” program received a $1,200 grant. The program encourages movement in students during academic and unstructured time. Debra Templeton’s “PAWS for Success is a schoolwide store, which promotes positive behavior on campus. The program earned a $1,266 grant.

Park Lakes Elementary:

Kathrine White received a $4,116 grant for “Lights! Coding! Action!” which lets students engage with technology and collaborate with one another to solve problems. Frances Harris got $1,162 in grant money to fund “Lap Dog + Balls of Fun = Hugs,” helps early childhood students with special needs learn to cope on a daily basis.

Pine Forest Elementary:

Tiffany Halvorsen’s “Table Treasure” program supplies learning table centers for three classrooms. It earned a $2,100 grant.

Ridge Creek Elementary:

LaTonia Bellard received a $5,500 grant for “Touchscreen for Future Leaders,” which provides technology to enhance students’ math skills.

Riverwood Elementary

Lesley Nickelson’s “Can You Hear Me Now” program, which uses audiobooks to immerse students in the reading experience, received a $3,000 grant. Nickelson’s “The eBrary: Open 24/7” program provides students with digital books. The program received a $10,000 grant.

Ross Sterling Middle School

LaQuanta Irvin-Smith received a $3,239 grant for the “Let’s Create Some Industrial Revolution Inventions,” which allows students to build their own inventions.

Shadow Forest Elementary:

Haley Sosnik earned $2,600 to fund the “Music Moves Us” program, which provides teachers and students access to a resource bank of music videos.

Summer Creek High School:

Alisha Smith earned a $2,600 award for “What’s Your Rhythm” program, which uses an electrocardiogram simulator to teach students about EKGs and rhythm analysis.

Summerwood Elementary:

Robbie Morrow’s “Puzzling Pieces to Promote Critical Thinkers 2.0” program, which received a grant of $2,506, uses critical thinking games to promote problem solving, spatial reasoning and collaboration for upper elementary students.

Timbers Elementary:

Melanie Sowa earned a $2,310 grant for the “Innovation Palace” project, an interdisciplinary, long-term project to create their own world’s fair.

Timberwood Middle School:

Corey Lenon’s “Great Chefs Cater Like a Pro,” program, will snagged a $900 grant, teaches students to not only cook but how to cater, while learning in-depth food safety skills.

West Lake Middle School:

Rosalyn Sweat’s “Marching to the Beat of Our Own Drones” project is a drone engineering project that will impact more the 400 STEM students per year. The program earned a $10,000 grant.

Willow Creek Elementary:

Allison Janes earned a $280 grant for “Making Seniors Smile,” a program that enables fourth- and fifth-grade choir students to perform at an assisted-living facility in the area.

Woodcreek Middle School:

Frances Gennussa received an $8,245 grant for the “Oh, the Things We Can Say,” program, which helps increase students’ vocabulary both in and outside of school. Gennussa also got a $3,767 grant for the “To Walk the Walk, You Must Talk the Talk” program, which allows bilingual students to practice their speaking and listening skills, with feedback provided by a teacher.

Misty Oliver received a $5,496 grant from “Brain Gym in the Library,” an initiative that gives the students the opportunity to bridge knowledge gaps and develop problem-solving skills through educational board games.

Woodland Hills Elementary:

Samantha Morgenroth’s “LittleBits with a Big Bite” program teaches hands-on coding activities for students in grades three through five. The program received a $3,000 grant.


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