Fifteen Wake County public school teachers were awarded more than $41,500 in grants Tuesday as part of the Teacher Leadership Grants program offered by Wake Education Partnership.

Funding for the grants is made possible by Ethicon, Duke Raleigh Hospital, Lord Corporation, Hartsfield and Nash Insurance Agency, the Carolina Hurricanes Kids ‘N Community Foundation and the law firm of Parker, Poe.

The teachers were honored Tuesday at a reception sponsored by Duke Raleigh Hospital.

Awarded annually for the past 28 years, the teacher grants from Wake Education Partnership are designed to encourage classroom innovation and improve student achievement through professional learning communities.

“We have a standardized curriculum, but it is how you deliver that curriculum that matters and these teachers understand that,” Wake schools Superintendent Tony Tata said during the presentation ceremony Tuesday. “We are pleased to see them recognized in this way.”

The recipients represent 14 schools from throughout the county – 10 elementary schools, two middle schools and two high schools. The awards are typically coupled with matching grants from the school system or other outside sources.

“During these tough budgetary times, grants like this afford us the opportunity to implement classroom initiatives that would not be possible without the intervention of an ‘angel investor’ such as Wake Education Partnership,” said Randy McFarland of North Forest Pines Elementary. “The money will be well spent and the positive impact will be felt well into the future.”

Teacher Leadership Grants is one of the Partnership’s longest-running programs, attracting more than $900,000 in business investments since its inception.

“The schools clearly benefit, but more importantly our students benefit thanks to the teachers’ spectacular ideas for developing new instructional methods that increase student participation and performance in the classroom,” said Wake Education Partnership President Steve Parrott.

Grant applications were reviewed by a committee of volunteers from Wake County’s business leaders and educators. Criteria included the sustainability of a program, contributions to professional development and improved student achievement. Recipients of Teacher Leadership Grants for the 2011-2012 school year are:

  • Patricia Brown – Turner Creek Elementary
  • Heather Callaghan – Olive Chapel Elementary
  • Mary Decker – Olive Chapel Elementary
  • Marcia Ferreira – Morrisville Elementary
  • Stephanie Harris – East Wake Middle
  • Jennifer Lanane – Holly Springs Elementary
  • Carol Longo – Lacy Elementary
  • Randy McFarland – North Forest Pines Elementary
  • Susan Pearce – Zebulon Middle
  • Janet Pride – Combs Elementary
  • Anna Shartzer – Rand Road Elementary
  • Jordan Trull – Millbrook High
  • Dawn Vinson – Lincoln Heights Elementary
  • Sam Wheeler – Enloe High
  • Patricia Williams – Alston Ridge Elementary

A short summary of each winning proposal can be found online. Full-time teachers and others who work in support positions are also encouraged to learn more about the program by contacting Julie Crain, VP of Programs, at 821-7609 Ext. 129

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From left: (Back row) Anna Shartzer; Heather Callaghan; Samuel Wheeler; Jordan Trull; Dawn Vinson; Carol Longo; Marcia Ferreira; Randy McFarland (Front Row) Janet Pride; Patricia Brown; Mary Decker; Patricia Williams; Susan Pearce; Jennifer Lanane; Stephanie Harris.

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About Wake Education Partnership

Wake Education Partnership is a non-profit organization that plays a critical role in helping business leaders, elected officials and educators work toward the common goal of increasing student performance measured against world-class academic standards. For more information, please contact us through this web site or by calling 919.821.7609.

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