MT. VERNON — —
The Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce has awarded 24 classroom grants and chosen two area seniors as the Students of the Year.
Collin Young, a senior at Mt. Vernon Township High School and Courtney Kabat, a senior at Waltonville High School are the recipients of the annual award, which is sponsored by the Education Clearinghouse of the chamber. Each student will receive a $1,000 scholarship to attend college in the fall.
Young is planning to use his scholarship at Lindenwood University, Belleville, on an academic and athletic scholarship. He plans to major in biology.
"I'm glad you saw something in me," Young said. "There are a lot of students who are worthy of the award."
Kabat will use her scholarship money to attend Murray State University, where she plans to major in public relations.
"Thank you," Kabat said, adding she knows there were other students who qualify for the honor in the county. "I want to come back and serve the community well and make Jefferson County proud."
During the announcement on Thursday morning, Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Brandon Bullard said the Education Clearinghouse was able to raise a record amount of funds from the community, enabling it to award a record number of classroom grants.
"This year, due to the commitment the group had to fundraising and their efforts as well as those in the community who have donated to promote education, we are able to offer the grants," Bullard said. "We usually give 12 teacher grants, but we are giving 24 teacher grants this year."
Those educators receiving grants are:
- Becky Catron of Farrington Community Consolidated School, who teaches third and fourth grade will use the grant to purchase an iPad Mini with the goal to help children with basic skills such as math facts and reading;
- Brandi Gore of St. Mary School, who teaches sixth through eighth grade will use the grant to purchase Kindle Fires to be used for astronomy, math computation skills, microbiology and more;
- Ranzie Callahan of St. Mary School, who teaches third grade will use the grant to fund a program, "Reading A-Z," which provides printable books and resources that will help increase comprehension and fluency on individual students' reading level;
- Judy Harland of Opdyke-Belle Rive Grade School, who teaches fifth grade will use the grant for Android tablets to help teach Common Core Learning Standards for English, Math, Science, Social Studies and Literature;
- Rebecca Frisby of St. Mary School, who teaches sixth through eighth grades will use the grant to take eighth grade students to the Holocaust Museum and Learning Center in St. Louis as a culminating activity after a literature study on "The Devil's Arithmetic;"
- Lou Ann Morrison of St. Mary School, who teaches fourth grade will use the grant to purchase an iPad for students who need additional practice on basic skills. This will help the students who need enrichment to not feel like they are given additional work and the iPad applications will keep track of their progress;
- Carrie Mayville of Waltonville Grade School, who teaches second grade will use the grant to purchase an iPad Mini to "breathe life" into her reading, math and writing instruction in her classroom curriculum;
- Jared Shaner of Mt. Vernon Township High School teaches physical education and will use the grant to purchase a professional high tech scale that will allow the students to monitor total weight, body fat percentage and lean muscle mass percentage to help measure total fitness;
- Marsha Garrett of Woodlawn Grade School, who teaches sixth through eighth grades will use the grant to purchase a Young Reader Award Program which gives middle school students the opportunity to be exposed to books recommended by their peers statewide. It is designed to encourage children to read for personal satisfaction and promote a desire for literature;
- Colene Stanley of Waltonville Grade School, who teaches fifth grade, will use the grant toward an iPad Mini which will enable students to use more technology in the classroom and create a fun learning environment;
- Brittany Boldt of Mt. Vernon Township High School, who teaches ninth through 12th grade, will use the grant to fund childcare and the care learning services class, a program to educate, train and give hands-on experience to high school students interested in working with children;
- Janet Sinks of the Primary Center, who teaches kindergarten through third grade will use the grant to directly support the music program at the Primary Center by paying for a subscription to Music K-8 that will assist in planning instruction and in providing relevant curriculum materials;
- Erika Phelps of the Primary Center who teaches second grade, will use the grant for a new science series entitled, "Nancy Larson's Science," which is designed to expose students to a variety of strategies through hands-on activities along with methods to get them to enjoy science and learn basic concepts;
- Kevin McGreer of the Primary Center, who teaches third grade special education, will use the grant to build a classroom library that students will look forward to and experience every day, giving them an opportunity and space to improve their literary skills;
- Charles Simer of Woodlawn Grade School, who teaches sixth through eighth grade will use the grant for Vernier data collection tools to allow teachers to develop hands-on curriculum through inquiry. It will put equipment into student's hands allowing them to explore their environment while developing their own thoughts and opinions;
- Marjorie Schwartz of Casey Middle School, who teaches seventh grade, will use the grant to assist her in recognizing students that make positive choices. The funds will be used to purchase positive reinforcement items that will encourage students to strive for academic success and appropriate peer interaction;
- Nancy Verhines and Kate Page of Woodlawn Grade School, who teach third grade, will use the grant to purchase more Accelerated Reader books and get the children more excited about reading;
- Sandy Wilson of Webber Township High School, teaches 11th grade and will use the grant to purchase books in a trilogy that the students will enjoy and get them thinking about other cultures and life in other types of communities. The books will be used for academic purposes and will also incorporate life lessons;
- Karen Neal of Woodlawn Grade School, teaches sixth through eighth grade and will use the grant to fund "virtual math lessons." The funds will help to purchase a form of technology that will allow her to video record math lessons and display the videos on a website for students to view;
- Kelly Owens of Woodlawn High School, teaches ninth through 12th grade and will use the grant to support the Math Plus program at Woodlawn High School. Math Plus is designed for freshman and sophomore level students who are trying to boost their math skills;
- Kiley Docherty of Mt. Vernon Township High School teaches 12th grade and will use the grant to support the seniors in the Advanced Placement Literature class by helping them pay for a trip to see a play performed at the SIU-C theater department;
- Nick Loafman of Mt. Vernon Township High School teaches ninth through 12th grade and will use the grant to purchase additional pieces of sheet music to be used by the band program. The sheet music will be used at concerts by the symphonic band and cadet band as well as performances at athletic events by the Marching Rams and the Pep Band; and
- Terrea Kirsch of the Primary Center, teaches second grade and will use the grant to purchase headphones that have microphones attached so students will be able to read directly into a computer.