HPS Education Foundation awards grants

HPS Education Foundation awards grants
Posted on 02/07/2020
hcam grant elliott

HPS Education Foundation awards

grants for Innovative Ideas


More than $24,000 was recently awarded to educators with Hickory Public Schools, courtesy of the HPS Education Foundation, Inc.  Dozens of educators within the district submitted applications for the “Creative Ideas and Innovation Grants,” with the Foundation announcing the selection of the final eight winners.

The grant is designed to encourage, facilitate, recognize, and reward creative and innovative instructional programs and ideas that promote higher levels of student learning and academic success.  The spirit of the Creative Ideas and Innovation Grant Program embodies the Education Foundation’s vision of “Ensuring Success of Every Child…Every Day” in full support of the stated objectives, goals, and initiatives of Hickory Public Schools.

According to Sandi Fotheringham, executive director of the HPS Education Foundation, Inc., the selection of the winning recipients can be very challenging. “Members of the Board of Directors of the HPS Education Foundation, in addition to a team of educators and donors, review every application, closely examining strategies and targeted results that are designed to benefit a large group of students. The Foundation also reviews applications for creativity and innovative ideas that will ultimately provide cutting-edge education for all grade levels. This year, we awarded grants to teachers who represent all three levels – elementary, middle, and the high school level,” said Fotheringham.

“The recent awards, added to the previously awarded grants, brings the collective total to nearly $161,000.00 awarded to HPS educators during the past six years,” said Harriett Jeffords, president of the HPS Education Foundation. “We are delighted to surprise the winning recipients with these grants—and celebrate with them the wonderful opportunities to advance the education for our students.  

“The winning eight include Jason Hoyle from Hickory High ($4,999.00), Wendy Kryo from Grandview Middle ($650.59), Meredith Clay from Southwest Primary ($4,995.53), David Wortman and Sally Ross from Northview Middle ($800.00), Amy Elliott from both Hickory High and Hickory Career & Arts Magnet High/HCAM, ($2,100.00), Andy Blevins from Hickory High ($5,000.00), Julee Anderson from Southwest Primary ($3,573.69) and Jessica Lowe from Longview Elementary ($2,257.00). We congratulate each of these recipients and we look forward to hearing about their successful new ventures with implementation of their innovative ideas, as they energize, engage and enhance the classroom learning environment,” said Jeffords.

Board of Directors and Officers for the HPS Education Foundation, in addition to Sandi Fotheringham, executive director and Harriett Jeffords, president, include LaKeisha Ross-Johnson, vice president, Stuart Mull, treasurer, Suzanne Trollan, secretary, and directors, Kerri King, Alan Jackson, Megan Teeter, Jay Paschall, Darrell Johnson, Charles Young, and Sue Tarlton.

Below is a description of each of the winning “Creative Ideas and Innovation” grants for 2019-2020.

1.       Jason Hoyle    (Hickory High / Media)   $4,999.00

“Crafting a Collaborative Work Environment”

This project will create an innovative Makerspace lab in the media

Center where students can collaborate in flexible group settings

and create products through interactive activities directly linked

to their curriculum.  The most important element of this project is

a Google Jamboard.  Teachers may reserve the lab which will provide

space for a Socratic seminar.  This would be innovative for students

because they could interact digitally with their own Chromebooks and

the Jamboard as the center of discussion.


2.      Wendy Kyro  (Grandview Middle / Exceptional Children) $650.59

“A Sensory Explosion”

This is a simple project to set up a sensory area for a special needs

cluster class at Grandview.  Sensory items can be used to provide

calming activities when a student with (or without) special needs,

including an autism diagnosis becomes overwhelmed or over-stimulated.

Sensory input can help a child stay focused, calm, and organized throughout

the day. Items in the area will include a bubble lamp, bean bag chairs, LED

light up fish tank, cheweys, fidgets, timers and puzzles.


3.      Meredith Clay    (Southwest Primary)  $4,995.53

“Little Lion Cub Literacy Project”

This project was curated to increase literacy exposure to Pre-K through

Second grade students through the aesthetic lens and development of

foundational literacy skills in students.  Southwest is a dual language school

and many students enter a school setting without prior exposure to literacy

in their everyday lives.  The first goal of this project is to create a print-rich environment

by commissioning a local artist to create 5 engaging, text specific, murals in designated

locations within the school.  The second goal is to build and solidify foundational

literacy skills through manipulatives, a make-and-take parent involvement night, reading

mini lesson instructional resources, and student subscriptions to iReady Reading to meet

the differentiated needs of all students at Southwest.


4.      David Wortman/Sally Ross (Northview Middle, Band/Orchestra)  $800.00

“Meet the Composer”

This project will bring a national composer to the instrumental

music classrooms to work with and teach students original compositions

written by the composer.  The one-day immersive experience will involve

all 8th grade students in a musically creative and cooperative experience.

The composer will write an original piece of music which we will own and

premiere as the culminating event of the project.  The composer will work

directly with each group to teach and understand the piece, as well as the

creative process.


5.      Amy Elliott  (HHS/HCAM)  $2,100.00

“HPS HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America) State

Leadership Conference”     

For Health Occupation students to attend the State Leadership Conference

provides them opportunities to attend workshops to learn “soft skills” such as: professional dress, interview skills, and resume prep which help students transform into

Healthcare Professionals.  Students also compete in skills such as a Nurse Aide, EMT, Public Speaking, Job seeking skills, and Pharmacy Science. 

This networking opportunity provides students with jobs and college scholarships.

Unlike other school districts, HPS does not receive local funding to help

students with registrations and/or housing during competitive events.

Therefore, the financial responsibility lies with the students, most of whom

cannot afford the expenses.


6.      Andy Blevins        (Hickory High / Math)  $5,000.00

“Interactive Mathematics Classroom Using TI-Navigator”

The TI-Nspire handhelds operate more like a computer than a

traditional calculator.  Instead of one screen to perform

calculations , pages can be added to documents. Each page

has different characteristics.  This includes a list of spreadsheet

pages that functions like Excel; a data and statistics page that links

to the spreadsheet page; and a data collection page that allows for

direct connections to various Vernier probes.

The TI-Navigator system includes an access point directly connected

to a computer.  The computer runs a program that allows it to

communicate wirelessly with the handhelds through the access point.


7.      Julee Anderson   (Southwest Primary)  $3,573.69

“Picture This and Post That”

Many students today are suffering from a Nature-deficit

Disorder because these generations have so many devices

(which takes away from learning about their community and

natural resources).  This project will benefit students by providing

outdoor activities for them to become aware of the basic principles

of ecology, sustainable agriculture and forestry, steady-state

economics and environmental ethics.  With a set of iPads that have

an app called “PictureThis”, it allows the learner to take a picture of

flora, then it shows the information about the plant. This project will

build speaking and listening skills, writing information text, and help

students to become familiar with local resources and parks and how to

sustain them. Then students will organize information in the Google

slides in clear and logical order.



8.      Jessica Lowe  (Longview / Guidance)   $2,257.00 

“Second Step”

Social and emotional learning has proven to be a key part

of child development and a crucial skill for success in school.

We must recognize the many outlying factors which may be related

to student individuality and differing abilities.  The importance of

resilience in schools comes with each individual’s capacity to overcome

challenges and failures. This program allows practice in problem-solving

using effective, guided strategies in good decision-making. Lessons also

incorporate tools for every type of learning style.                                                                                                

For more information about the HPS Education Foundation, Inc. or to make a donation, contact Sandi Fotheringham: 
[email protected]net  or call: 828-322-2855, ext.239.

To view more awards photos, visit the Hickory Public Schools Facebook page: 


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