Wake County Nine Wake County public school teachers have been awarded nearly $30,000 in grants for classroom use during the upcoming school year through the Teacher Leadership Grants program.  The recipients were honored at a reception held at the Governor’s Mansion on May 6, sponsored by Pierce Group Benefits.  Awarded annually by Wake Education Partnership for the past 25 years, Teacher Leadership Grants, formerly known as Food for Thought grants, are designed to promote effective teaching and to improve student achievement through innovative ideas in the classroom.

“The Pierce Group is proud to take part in one of the legacy programs of the Wake Education Partnership to support our excellent teachers in Wake County,” said Donald Pierce, president of Pierce Group Benefits.  “We were especially honored to have the opportunity to sponsor this event.”

Including collaborators for the projects, these nine grants will directly impact the work of 51 Wake County teachers and staff.  Seven elementary, one middle and one high school from Wake County are represented among the winners.

“We believe that in submitting grants, teachers are taking an active role in continuing their professional development which enriches both their teaching, and the education of their students,” said Dr. Ann Denlinger, president of Wake Education Partnership.  “Over the past 25 years, we have provided teachers with nearly $800,000 in grant funding, impacted over 250,000 students and over 2,000 teachers in the Wake County Public School System.”

Grant recipients submitted proposals which were reviewed by a selection committee of volunteers representing Wake County business, community and education leaders.  Proposals were selected based on inclusion of collaboration, sustainability, professional development, and student achievement.  In defining this year’s grants, the proposals focused on Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s) or Leadership.

“In most high schools, only one teacher is assigned to teach AP Psychology, leaving the educator with no colleagues within his/ her building to create a PLC,” said Tonya Hinton, an AP Psychology Teacher at Athens Drive High School.  “Our hope with this grant is to promote the creation of an AP Psychology PLC that will benefit our students, parents, schools, and community for many years to come.”

With the $2,500 grant, Hinton and other staff at Athens Drive will have the opportunity to participate in a project that will help AP Psychology teachers collaborate and share best practices. It will enhance student’s learning and enthusiasm for the curriculum.  The culminating event is a countywide academic competition, a Psych Bowl.

Funding for the grants is made possible by GlaxoSmithKline, Closure Medical Corporation, Progress Energy, Kids n’ Community Foundation and the Goodnight Educational Foundation.  Full-time teachers and support personnel employed by the Wake County Public School System were eligible to apply.

2008 Teacher Leadership Grant Recipients

Tonya Hinton Athens Drive High
Shawna Scipione Creech Road Elementary
Nicholas Shosho East Cary Middle
Tricia Liberatore Holcomb Lynn Road Elementary
Annette Hymel Pleasant Union Elementary
Ann Badders Rand Road Elementary
Karen D’Elia Reedy Creek Elementary
Michelle McDaniel Turner Creek Elementary
Allison McCarter Wiley Elementary

About Wake Education Partnership

Wake Education Partnership is an advocacy organization dedicated to making world-class schools possible in Wake County through business and community involvement. We play a critical role in bringing people together, raising the level of discussion through capacity building, and brokering information and relationships around key issues in public education. Programs for 2007-08 focus on retaining effective teachers, developing effective education leaders, and ensuring healthy schools for all students. For more information, please visit www.WakeEdPartnership.org.

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