PAFE awards grants to LPOSD educators

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(Photo by MARY MALONE) Panhandle Alliance for Education awarded more than $109,000 to 41 educators Thursday during the Teacher Grant Awards reception at the Heartwood Center in Sandpoint.

2017-2018 teacher grant recipients

Dinah Gaddie, Sandpoint Middle School, Future is Bright, $2,500.

Cindy Albertson, Sandpoint High School, Mentor Training, $1,500.

Marcea Marine, Sandpoint Middle School, Solar Power Grand Prix, $$2,195.

Carolyn Whalen, district-wide, Learning with Lucky, $9,000.

Lisa Greene, Farmin-Stidwell Elementary, Pend Oreille Water Festival, $1,700.

Perky Smith-Hagadone, district-wide, Experiential Snow School, $9,980.

Mamie Brubaker, Sandpoint High School, 2018 Science Circuit, $2,250.

Tom Albertson, Sandpoint High School, Community Connections 2, $4,550.

Trudie Weiden, Farmin-Stidwell Elementary, Time for Kids, $1,170.

Caitlin Peterson, Sandpoint Middle School, CSI Forensic Science, $2,750.

Brenda Woodward, Lake Pend Oreille High School, Experiential Forestry, $2,479.

John Hastings, Sandpoint High School, Monarch Butterfly Restoration, $600.

Dana Stockman, Sandpoint High School, AcaDeca Arts and More, $4,300.

Jeralyn Mire, Sandpoint High School, College and Career Exposure, $2,362.

Karrie Johnson, Sagle Elementary, Plant Palace, $293.

Dinah Gaddie, Sandpoint Middle School, Industrial Revolution, $3,500.

Mike Martz, Sandpoint High School, Freshman Success, $2,000.

Alice Griffith, Farmin-Stidwell Elementary, Keyboarding for Success, $644.

Perky Smith-Hagadone, Northside Elementary, Northside Drama Club, $1,000.

Jacqueline Crossingham, Sandpoint Middle School, Creating Lifelong Writers, $805.

James Koehler, district-wide, Buster Bus Safety, $2,360.

Rochelle Chatburn, Southside ELementary, We Do Legos, $1,766.

Meredith Evensen-Lynch, Farmin-Stidwell Elementary, Assistive Technology, $1,500.

Kathleen Olson, Sandpoint Middle School, Thrively Foster Passion, $657.

David Lien, Forrest Bird Charter School, STEM Bike Mechanics, $990.

Sean Lyon, Sandpoint Middle School, Astronomy, $881.

Debbie Smith, Sandpoint High School, Future Diplomats, $2,450.

Jacque Johnson, Southside Elementary, Kids Love Legos, $908.

Nellie Lutzwolf, Clark Fork Junior High, Wellness Track, $4,202.

LeeAnn Kopsa, Kootenai Elementary, Keep Reading this summer, $2,500.

Megan Jordan, Farmin-Stidwell Elementary, National Geographic, $480.

Jacqueline Crossingham, Sandpoint Middle School, Meeting Needs, $3,700.

Matt Brass, district-wide, Teaching Tech to Teachers, $4,989.

Elizabeth Dalessio, Kootenai Elementary, iLearn, $2,995.

Mike Turnlund, Clark Fork High School, Culinary Arts Equipment, $1,000.

Jeannie Hunter, Sandpoint High School, Broadway at Home — Lion King, $4,000.

Kelli Knowles, Kootenai Elementary, Trauma-Based Support Training, $4,515.

Alex Gray, Sandpoint High School, virtual machines, $2,800.

KC MacDonald, Clark Fork Junior High, Experiential Learning Track, $5,000.

Jeanne Warwick, Washington Elementary, Explore Art, $2,800.

Aaron Gordon, Sandpoint High School, Sousaphone, $3,250.

SANDPOINT — Panhandle Alliance for Education gave out more than $109,000 to teachers and staff of the Lake Pend Oreille School District Thursday to support programs that enrich the lives of students in the district.

The 41 grants ranged from $293 to $9,980 for new and continuing programs in the 2017-2018 school year.

"All 41 (recipients) are incredible and the programs and grants represent such a wide range of inspirational and exciting things," said Geraldine Lewis, PAFE board president.

Perky Smith-Hagadone, principal of Northside Elementary School, was the $9,980 recipient to continue the experiential snow school, which is actually a district-wide program.

Smith-Hagadone was one of three educators who revealed their success stories to the crowd during the teacher grant awards night at the Heartwood Center. The snow school is a program for fifth-graders in the district. They get an in-school lesson with SOLE experts about the local watershed, followed by a day on Schweitzer where they learn about snowpack and how it affects the watershed. Because the kids learn about the watershed, it also serves as a prelude for the Pend Oreille Water Festival in the spring.

"Our snow school has been recognized as a national flagship snow school site, and there is only two of them out of 60, so we are pretty excited about that," Smith-Hagadone said.

Kelli Knowles, Kootenai Elementary principal, was another of the success stories with trauma-based support training. The school has seen an increase in students who are hungry, tired, scared or emotional, all of which are considered trauma, so she applied for and received a grant last year through PAFE.

"Kids can't compartmentalize as well as adults can — some adults can't compartmentalize — but we think about our lives when we walk into where we work and we are able to put everything aside that we came from and be present in the moment. Kids carry things with them all day long and, unfortunately, the negative seems to take over their ability to learn." 

While she could recognize the symptoms, Knowles said she did not know how to give her teachers the tools to support traumatized children in the classroom. The training helps address those students' needs and creates an environment where students feel secure and emotionally supported. Knowles received another grant this year for $4,515.

John Hastings, science teacher at Sandpoint High School, had another success story and received a continuing grant for his monarch butterfly restoration project. So much is unknown, Hastings said, about the decline in population of the monarch here in the West, as well as the Midwest. In the West, about 75 percent have disappeared and 90 percent in the Midwest.

The grant will support the project as his students will get real-world science and research experience by introducing native milkweed to the SHS riparian area. Milkweed is the only plant monarchs use for reproduction. Students will also work with Idaho Fish and Game during the project.

"Even if it doesn't help the monarchs, there is probably going to be 100 other species that it will help in doing the process," Hastings said.

The PAFE mission is to promote excellence in education and broad-based community support for LPOSD. It is an independent organization formed to create and sustain an endowment to provide resources in support of effective teaching, learning and school management, which it has done for nearly 15 years.

"Since 2003, PAFE has put a total of almost $1.6 million straight into the classroom through these teacher grants," Lewis said.

Mary Malone can be reached by email at and follow her on Twitter @MaryDailyBee.

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