Foundation for Educational Excellence awards grants to FMS teachers and staff

The Foundation for Educational Excellence awarded 11 teachers and school staff mini-grants while two were awarded performing arts grants and six others received grants for professional development on September 4 in the Board Room at the 30th Street Education Center in Farmington.

Nick Akins (Heights), Jill Gillen (Country Club), Allison Tanner (Country Club), Robert Watson (Farmington High), Karen McCay (Heights), Kelsey Hatch (Heights), Cathyrn Peel (Mesa View Middle School), Haleigh Bassing (Piedra Vista), Kate Malone (Piedra Vista), Judy Johnson (Tibbetts) and Michelle Childers-Beck (Tibbetts) were all awarded grants.

Akins, a gifted teacher, plans to use his mini-grant to promote his Heights’ Chess Club by creating a space for students to play chess during lunch hour. This also allows Akins to see his students more often and engage with them more frequently.  Also at Heights, McCay hopes to use her mini-grant to purchase robotic equipment and software that will allow students to attend competitions, while Hatch

Gillen and Tanner will use their funds to promote both reading and writing at Country Club Elementary. Gillen plans to purchase a spiral or coil binding machine so students can “publish” their own writing projects and Tanner plans to purchase novels that tell the stories of historic events through different perspectives.

Farmington High students will soon have a new “toy” in physics lab as Watson’s grants calls for the purchase of a device with 12 sensors that can be tossed, dropped and thrown around while tracking its projectile motion and direction.

Bassing has taken over a new role at Piedra Vista High School and will purchase equipment for her students to jumpstart their video journalism program. The equipment includes cameras, lights, microphones and more.

Both Peel and Malone will expand literature at their schools – Peel expanding science-based text selections for sixth, seventh and eighth graders at Mesa View and Malone with Raisin in the Sun books for all juniors at Piedra Vista.  

Johnson will explore alternative seating in her Tibbetts math classroom, aiming to differentiate different student’s needs for seating and providing them with optimal learning through comfort.

Childers-Beck, a social worker at Tibbetts, looks to enhance social emotional education at her school by providing students with a safe space to better regulate their own emotions. She hopes this space can be a place students visit to practice mindfulness and regulate the many emotions middle schoolers experience in a day. She hopes the space can be used to prevent other discipline issues and keep students in a learning mindset even when facing adversity.

Performing Arts Grants were awarded to Jennifer Lasley (Tibbetts) and Mychelle McGee (Farmington High School). Lasley plans to use her funds to purchase Smart Music software for all students while McGee will use funds to attend a national competition for the Kelly Greens of FHS.

Amy Tanner (Mesa View Middle School), Sirimoni Leath (Heights), Monica Leaming (Tibbetts/FHS), Carla Lehmier (Heights), Marletta Newman (MVMS) and Shera Piper (Tibbetts) were also awarded grants from the Connie Gotsch Arts Foundation for professional Development. The grants allow for fine arts educators at FMS to attend their “dream conference” so they can learn new skills and techniques to bring back to their classrooms.  

The Foundation for Educational Excellence provides mini-grants annually to through an application process open to all teachers at Farmington Municipal Schools.

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