Teachers apply grant money for students, district | SierraSun.com

Teachers apply grant money for students, district

Joanna Hartman
Sierra Sun
Emma Garrard/ Sierra SunKings Beach P.E. teacher Emily Hart teaches Katie Martinez, 10, a dance called Tiniking, where a person jumps over two poles as the poles move in and out. The game teaches rhythm, coordination, and teamwork, Hart said. Hart was awarded the Linda Brown Fellows Award by the Excellence in Education Foundation and used the award money to buy more equipment for her classes.
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Six Tahoe Truckee Unified School District teachers honored last fall with the Linda Brown Fellows Award for outstanding teaching are using the funds they received to benefit not just their current students but those district-wide.

Excellence in Education honored each local educator in September with $2,000 to be used at their discretion to enhance education, plus an additional $1,000 personal award.

These teachers, along with the 31 other district teachers previously recognized with the grant, represent the cream of the classroom crop ” the educators who go the extra mile and offer their students the best educational experience.

“While we are blessed with many wonderful teachers in the district, it’s an opportunity to recognize those who really do go above and beyond,” said Excellence in Education’s executive director, Laura Abbey Brown.

Kings Beach Elementary physical education teacher Emily Hart doesn’t use a whistle to get her students’ attention. Instead, her choice in tunes dictates how the class exercises.

“I use music for movement,” Hart said. “And I never blow a whistle like a traditional P.E. teacher. When the music is on they are moving, and when it’s off they’re frozen.”

Hart used all of her grant money to invest in new technology to play music for her P.E. students. She bought a laptop computer and an iPod that both plug directly into the school’s sound system.

Hart said because she receives just $2 per student per year to be used for equipment and other expenses, the extra funding from the nonprofit organization allows her to provide her students a better experience.

“Eight hundred dollars doesn’t go very far,” Hart said. “Excellence in Education is crucial for us.”

Kim Warren is a second-grade teacher at Truckee Elementary and has been with the school district for 11 years. She used her grant money to purchase an online accelerated reading program for all second- through fifth-grade students.

“I wanted to give something to the school as a whole, not just my classroom,” Warren said.

And Patricia Stonick, an English and social studies teacher at Sierra High School, also bought a laptop computer for her students to use.

“We decided as a group that this would probably be the most beneficial way to use the money. It will be ongoing. This will just be here for the kids to use,” Stonick said.

Hien Larson, Diana Whitten and Monika Bock were also awarded with the 2006-07 Linda Brown Fellows Award.