Foundation surprises Beaufort County teachers with grants

info@islandpacket.comFebruary 12, 2013 

Eighth-grade teacher Veronica Chisolm reacts after she was surprised with a $500 Innovative Teacher Grant Tuesday morning during class at H.E. McCracken Middle School. Teachers in 12 schools throughout the Beaufort County School District received grants from the Foundation for Educational Excellence, which presents checks to teachers twice a year.


A baker's dozen of Beaufort County teachers was surprised Tuesday when strangers came into their rooms bearing smiles, balloons and oversized checks.

The Foundation for Educational Excellence, a fund of the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, distributed grants for classroom projects and purchases, a semiannual event since 2009.

More than $5,200 was given to 13 teachers at 12 schools. Most grants were between $200 and $500 and were funded by a three-year, $15,000 donation from First Citizens Bank.

Winners are:

  • Jenifer Smith, Hilton Head Island Elementary School: $297.94 for a Lego Mindstorm Kit for third- through fifth-graders. Smith is the recipient of the Dr. Valerie Truesdale Innovative Teacher Grant.
  • Alayne Arnett, kindergarten teacher at Bluffton Early Childhood Center: $285 for a project called "Connecting With Our Environment."
  • Shelia Cato, ninth-grade teacher at Beaufort High School: $498.95 for "Passing the South Carolina End of Course Exam in English I in 2013."
  • Veronica Chisholm, eighth-grade teacher at H.E. McCracken Middle School: $500 for "Science & Reading-Supporting Resources."
  • Erin Davis, second-grade teacher at Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts: $350 for "Math Packs."
  • Michele Dubbs, first-grade teacher at Coosa Elementary School: $500 for "Common Core Nonfiction Literature for First Grade Class."
  • Kelli Harper, counselor at Lady's Island Elementary School: $315 for "Yoga Focus."
  • Danielle Hunt, third-grade teacher at Okatie Elementary School: $500 for "Technology for All."
  • John W. O'Connell Jr., fourth- and fifth-grade science teacher at Port Royal Elementary School: $484.75 for "A World of Wonder."
  • Patty Schoelkopf-Lewis, photography instructor at Hilton Head Island High School: $500 for "Shooting RAW."
  • Peggi Martin, third- through fifth-grade English teacher at Pritchardville Elementary School: $500 for "High Interest Readers for Lower Ability Students."
  • Patricia Horton and William Gallagher, fourth-grade teachers at Broad River Elementary: $485.10 for "Math Manipulatives."

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