PEF announces winners of Teacherprenuer grants

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – What would a teacher do if they got a grant to pay for it?

16 teaching teams pitched their ideas back in July at the Teacherpreneur 48Hour Launch.

Now PEF announces which teachers will get grants to fund their proposals.

“We were blown away by these teachers,” said Tia Capps, Communications Director at CO.LAB and one of this year’s judges. “The diversity of ideas, their passion – picking just a few ‘winners’ was next to impossible.”

East Side Elementary teacher Kelsey Huynh won first place for her “Helping Hands Ending Hunger” project.

The goal is to reduce food waster from school meals by sending unopened refrigerated goods, like milk, home with needy students.

She wins cash for the project and legal support from the Chambliss Startup Group.

Second place goes to Tyner Academy teacher Victoria Jones for “Community Classroom Connections” which creates a digital platform to connect schools with community partners.

And third places goes to CSAS teachers Kristin Burrus & Judi Jasinksi for “STEAM Hub” to develop real-world curriculum in science, technology, engineering, art and math for K-12 students.

In all, they chose 12 projects for funding and will support all 16 of them in some form through the year.

The two audience awards go to Red Bank High teacher Stacy Hill’s “Ins(pi)re Core,” a low-cost robotics kit designed to make math more engaging, and HCDE Literacy Coach Melanie Commander’s “Quick Reads,” an app to help literacy teachers efficiently assess reading levels and give more individualized attention to early readers.

Seven teams win proof-of-concept funding:

Amanda Edens, East Side Elementary (Increasing Accessibility for Success);
Bethany White, Hixson High (The Future Starts Now);
Brittany Harris and Colleen Ryan, Hardy Elementary (The Passage);
Heather Brown, Sale Creek Middle High (The Text Collective);
Henry Oston, Dalewood Middle (Science Genius);
Sarah Candler, Ooltewah Middle (Community Communications Lab: From the Classroom to the Boardroom);
Zach McCoy and David Wilson, STEM School Chattanooga (ProtoGO).

The following four teams will receive in-kind support:

Nicole Wellington, CSLA (School Without Walls);
Felicion McMillon-Diakhate, Barger Academy (Chattanooga Has Talent);
Kendall Snider and Megan Witty, Ivy Academy (Choose One/Change One);
Sherry Konwaler, Tyner Academy & Karen Mitchell and Constance Buchanan, Soddy Daisy High (School Based Enterprise).

“Teacherpreneur has been, for three years now, a showcase for the innovative and entrepreneurial thinking our educators bring to Hamilton County – and the community support for these teacher leaders is always tremendous. We’re grateful to our many partners, and especially the Benwood Foundation and the Footprint Foundation, for investing in this next generation of Teacherpreneurs, in their students and in our community,” said Dr. Dan Challener, President of PEF.

Categories: Education, Hamilton County, Local News