Orange County Education Foundation Fund for Innovative Teaching Recipients 2012

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2012TIG - Jennifer HudsonJennifer Hudson-Foskett, Prospect Heights Middle School teacher, will use her $250 Teacher Innovation Grant to expand the reach of the PHMS Garden Club into community gardening and expose student participants to the process and value of worm composting. Her grant will enable students to formulate goals and plan their gardens while incorporating math, science and language arts into the Garden Club experience. Pictured left to right: Bryan Hargett, Sherrie Page, Renee Bourke, PHMS Principal, Jennifer Hudson-Foskett, PHMS teacher, Sam Kessler, Penny Work, Tim Ferguson and Carol Hunter.

2012TIG - Michelle ReussMichele Reuss, Lightfoot Elementary School (LES) teacher, proposed a plan for a “Magical Night of Reading” program intended to encourage and support LES students as they mature into lifelong readers. The program will allow students to dress like their favorite book character while they enjoy dinner with their parents at LES. Following dinner, the students and their families will engage in various student-led activities, such as reader’s theater, book talks, author’s chair and reading games. Each student also will receive a free book for their participation in the program.

“I am overwhelmed by the recognition,” said Reuss. “Receiving the award for the Magical Night of Reading is so special. It’s such a powerful event for Lightfoot Elementary School and the have the Orange County Education Foundation’s support means so much to me but even more to the LES community. Thank you so much.”

2012TIG - Erin ShaffermanErin Shafferman, Gordon Barbour Elementary School music teacher, intends to deepen her students’ understanding of music theory while introducing them to the ukulele. The grant will allow Shafferman to add ukuleles to the list of musical instruments available to her students. In her application, Shafferman reported that she wanted treble clef, notes, time signatures and the value of notes to be more than words on a page for GBES music students. She said she wanted those words to come alive as the students make beautiful music with their brand new ukuleles.

“I greatly appreciate the manner in which the Foundation supports the arts in such a meaningful way,” Shafferman said. “The grant will allow me to put a ukulele in each child’s hand.”

2012TIG - Sandi TerrySandi Terry, Orange County High School English teacher, will purchase a digital camera that will be used by student staff members of the high school’s literary magazine, Collage. The magazine highlights student skill, creativity, and achievement in the areas of writing and art. The grant will provide a fresh and more professional look to Collage, according to Terry’s application.

2012TIG - Shyla VestisShyla Vesitis, 6th grade teacher at Grymes Memorial School, intends to help her students become more aware of the Orange community while they develop first-person research skills and learn to use digital story telling equipment. The grant will allow Vesitis to purchase software and materials to support the project.

“Receiving this grant will allow our students to build their research skills while becoming more aware of our community,” Vesitis said. She added that she was excited about digital storytelling and felt like the grant would allow her students to use technology to link ideas and build community in meaningful ways.

2012TIG - Jill WoycikJill Woycik, kindergarten teacher at Locust Grove Primary School (LGPS), intends to use 21st century technology to ensure that every student in her classroom is a fluent reader. In her application, Woycik wrote that she wanted to show how the iPod Touch could be used to introduce beginning sounds, sorting activities and read-along audio books to promote fluency with beginning readers. With the award, LGPS students will be able to use the iPod Touch as another meaningful learning tool.

“I am so grateful to the Foundation for giving me the opportunity to bring technology into the classroom,” Ms. Woycik said. “The students will love using the iPod during center time. I cannot wait to look into all the wonderful apps that will reinforce what we are learning.”