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Prize Posse rides to award grants to BISD teachers

Special to the Courier

The Bandera Education Foundation's Prize Posse delivered Christmas a little early for a lot of Bandera ISD teachers. The non-profit Education Foundation "solicits, manages, and disburses contributions to enrich educational opportunities for staff and students in Bandera ISD that fall outside the scope of the district's normal operating budget."
The foundation awards grants annually to teachers throughout the district whose applications for funding for special projects or equipment have been approved by the foundation.
In October, representatives of the foundation, fondly known as the Prize Posse, rode throughout the district, distributing a batch of grant checks for 2012.
Among the happy recipients were the music department and high school English and history departments, pictured.
Other recipients included BHS Science teachers Jeff Jackson, Dee Heiner and Dee Dee Stewart, who accepted a check to fund their grant "Biology I Microscopes." This grant will be used to purchase an additional set of 15 microscopes to provide more lab time for all ninth grade science students at Bandera High School.
Susan McKinney and Sydney Killough, BHS science teachers, received a shock when they found out that their Education Foundation grant "Physics Technology and Pre-AP Grant" was funded for $704 to purchase a computer to use in the Physics Lab with the Venier equipment. Almost 200 high school physics students will benefit from this grant purchase.
The rainwater catchment system at BHS will get tested for water quality because of a grant for $750 for "Testing Water Quality of the Rainwater System" received by Michelle Barnet, Brad Flink and Mary Bolan. Students in the Health Science, AP Biology and Construction Trades classes will work together to implement the water quality testing. The grant award of $750 will be added to a donation of $500 from the Bandera County River Authority and Groundwater District to purchase the testing program and chemicals.
Dr. Barbara Skipper, Education Foundation Grant Chair, also presented a grant award to Stephanie Jones, Kerry Derry, Jackie Denham, LaTisha Smallwood, Belinda Rodriguez, and Jan Rekemeyer for their project "Meeting the Needs of Twenty-first Century Learners." The grant for $996 will purchase two iPads to be used by 540 Bandera Middle School students.
"Take A Look At This," a grant written by BMS teachers Suzy Groff and Pam Frierson will be funded for $504 to purchase a document camera for a sixth grade classroom. With this purchase, every sixth grade classroom will have a document camera to use with students.
Fifth grade teacher Niki Edwards, kindergarten teacher Kim Mooney, and teacher Erin Moore accepted a grant check for $1497 to fund "A Brightlinks' Future," to purchase three Epson Brightlink Solo Interactive Modules to benefit 220 students at Hill Country Elementary.
Hill Country Elementary Interventionist Justine Horvath accepted a $543 check to fund "Puzzling Fun" to purchase puzzles focusing on spatial relationships and critical thinking for use with all 4th and 5th grade students at HCE.
The Education Foundation Prize Posse caught the kindergarten teachers at Hill Country Elementary by surprise to award them $600 to purchase 4 TABEO tablets for use with their kindergarten students through the grant "Operation TABEO." Accepting the grant were Annette Leyva, Sara D'Spain, Kim Mooney and Lisa Collett.
Cindy Mangold and Johnette McWhorter at Alkek Elementary won a grant for their project "Technology for Math and Science." The grant will be used to purchase four Google Nexus 716z tablets to be used with the fifth grade students at Alkek.
First grade teachers at Alkek Elementary, Maria Lopez, Lynn Stehling, Katherine Oholendt and Jamie Trussell look fired up when they realized that their grant "First Grade Learning With Kindles" was funded by the foundation. Their big check which will be used to purchase four Kindle HD Fires to be used with their 80 first grade students.