San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

May 17th, 2008
Hays CISD Blog: 35 teachers receive innovation grants at district technology showcase

The halls and rooms of the Hays CISD Performing Arts Center were buzzing, literally, with technology and the people — students and teachers — who work it on Thursday night during the third annual districtwide technology showcase.

More than 50 projects represented by all campuses in Hays CISD were on display for parents and community members to look at, and, more importantly, participate in.

From making movies to publishing books to designing a house to analyzing data surrounding a sound wave to “Survivor: Real Math for Real Life,” where Wallace Middle School students were assigned a job, a salary and a distance to work and they drew up a budget for living, the showcase brought to light that technology happens everyday in the classrooms of Hays CISD.

In the auditorium, animated and actual movies made by students rolled throughout the night, interrupted by the awarding of gifts to student logo design winners and $31,000 in Innovative Teaching Grants.

“Last year the Foundation gave $50,000 in Innovative Teaching Grants,” said Chris Harkrider, President of the Hays CISD Education Foundation. “This year, I am pleased to say we are giving away $70,000. It gives us a lot of pleasure to give back to this great school district.”

Traditionally, the Innovative Teaching Grants in the Spring average less than $20,000. However, that tradition was broken on Thursday with the granting of $31,000 to nearly 35 teachers throughout the district for innovation in their classrooms.

Teachers received boxes in the shape of the Hays CISD’s star last week. Inside each box was a “flash” drive that contained a PowerPoint presentation announcing the grant award and details about the Education Foundation. In addition, each winning teacher received enough “tickets” for his or her students to the “no limITs Technology Showcase.”

Grant winners were:

 Debra Flynn, Lehman High School, “100 People: A World Portrait,” $865

 Judith Cooper and Sherre Boothman, Lehman High School, “Reaching for the Stars,” $2,500

 Whitney Self and Lynn Sundholm, Chapa Middle School, “The Cougar Scrub Club,” $2,500

 Carrie Bartsch, Sandra Bickham, Lisa Corn and Christy Thomason, Negley Elementary School, “Literacy Camp Out,” $3,592

 Cheryl Kohtz, Kristen Stewart and Richard Ingels, Negley Elementary School, “What is it Like to be an Engineer or Scientist?” $3,978

 Carla Bailey, Debbie Brown, Kim Montague and Carol Denton, Fuentes Elementary School, “Study Island,” $3,400

 Kari Bennett, Mary Patterson and Jonathan Bickham, Lehman High School, “The Nspired Science Lab,” $4,082

 Jamie Coy, Casey Boggs and Susan Sides, Dahlstrom Middle School, “Disc Golf Family and Community Tournament,” $1,7500

 Carol Denton, Cornelia McQuage, Janice Gray and Stacey Williams, Fuentes Elementary School, “Susie T. Fuentes Jardin Organico Y Cocina,” $2,390

 Anne Marie Garza, Guadalupe DeHoyos Mallen, Elsa Ibarra and Roxanna Garza, Camino Real Elementary School, “It’s All About Building Assets through TRIBES Process,” $4,000

 Dina Secrest and Elizabeth Swearingen, Negley Elementary School, “The Making of Drama Queens (and Kings),” $910

 Kay Faile, The Academy@Hays, “The Word Junction,” $1,491

Since 2000, the Education Foundation has awarded nearly $500,000 in Innovative Teaching Grants. The twice-a-year event has funded innovation in the classroom at elementary, middle and high school levels ranging in projects from the construction of a greenhouse and sale of plants to a partnership with the Fort Worth Opera to a summer library bookmobile.

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