WAKE COUNTY – Six 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 teachers were honored at a reception held at the Cardinal Club on May 28, sponsored by Pierce Group Benefits. Awarded annually by Wake Education Partnership for the past 25 years, the teacher grants are designed to promote effective teaching and improve student achievement through professional learning communities and teacher leadership.

Including other educators involved in the projects, the six grants will directly affect the work of 30 Wake County teachers and staff. Five elementary schools and one middle 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.

During the past 25 years, the Partnership has provided teachers with nearly $850,000 in grant money, affecting more than 250,000 students and more than 2,000 teachers in Wake County’s public schools.

Grant recipients submitted proposals which were reviewed by a selection committee of volunteers representing Wake County business, community and education leaders. Criteria included sustainability of a program, professional development, and student achievement. The proposals focused on professional learning communities or teacher leadership.

For Turner Creek Elementary School teacher Michelle McDaniel, this year’s grant marked the third consecutive year she was selected by reviewers.

“We are extremely grateful and appreciative for Wake Education Partnership’s support and dedication to the teachers and students of Wake County,” McDaniel said. “This past year we used the funding to work collaboratively to analyze our math curriculum and research best teaching practices.”

“In addition, we have re-designed our instruction to be more student-driven, exploratory and rigorous. Our students have a stronger foundation of mathematical skills and are well prepared to move forward.”

McDaniel intends to use the grant this year to help teachers make better use of education research in the classroom.

Funding for the grants is made possible by Closure Medical Corporation, GlaxoSmithKline, Progress Energy, and the Goodnight Educational Foundation. Full-time teachers and others who work in support positions were eligible to apply.

2009-2010 Teacher Leadership Grant Recipients

Tracy Casorso Ligon Middle

Carol Chalk Baileywick Elementary

Allison Kuhns Reedy Creek Elementary

Michelle McDaniel Turner Creek Elementary

Julie Schmidt Ballentine Elementary

Beth Swartz Wiley Elementary

About Wake Education Partnership

Wake Education Partnership is an independent non-profit dedicated to creating world-class schools in Wake County through business and community involvement. We play a critical role in helping local business leaders, elected officials and educators work together to provide an excellent education for all students. Programs focus on retaining effective teachers, developing effective education leaders, and ensuring diverse and well-funded schools.For more information, please visit www.wakeedpartnership.org