PAFE gives $118,723 to local educators

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(Photo by MARY MALONE) Panhandle Alliance for Education awarded $118,723 in grants to educators in the Lake Pend Oreille School District during the annual award ceremony last Thursday.

PAFE teacher grant recipients

• Barbie Hunt, Southside Elementary, “Pend Oreille Water Festival, $1,125. Fifth-grade students will engage in a watershed education trunk, interactive lessons and finish with an outdoor field trip providing the opportunity to learn about watershed first-hand.

• Ashley Delucchi, Sagle and Kootenai elementaries, “KIndergarten STEM Kit,” $449. This innovative grant will give kindergartners hands-on lessons in science, technology, engineering and math, with problem solving using magnets, motion and chain reactions.

• Nicole Huguenin, Farmin-Stidwell Elementary, “Makerspace: Final Frontier,” $5,500. Students will receive the tools and supplies needed to create a Makerspace, a place to practice design thinking: empathize, define the problem, ideate, prototype, and test.

• Adam Noble, Sandpoint Middle School, “Solar Car and Grand Prix,” $2465. Middle school students will plan, design, construct and later race a car that will operate on solar power, demonstrating their understanding of measurement, angles and aerodynamics.

• Jewel Shea, Washington Elementary, “Cougar Weather Station,” $352. Students will analyze the weather station data to extrapolate local weather patterns and the connection to local and global climate patterns, then report it to staff and fellow students.

• Kelly Krystinak, Southside Elementary, “Growing Minds with Gardening STEAM,” $799, This grant funds an indoor garden with grow lights, heirloom seeds, soil and potting materials allowing for a visual and hands-on botany experience for elementary students.

• Jacque Johnson, Southside Elementary, “Swamp Rock Fiddle Camp, $2.031. Students will take part in a string teaching residency focused on acquiring enough skills to be able to solo perform a three-cord fiddle tune with guitar accompaniment.

• Ann Dickinson, Washington Elementary, “Design for Change,” $3,880. In addition to promoting complex problem solving and community involvement, students involved with Design for Change learn to apply academic skills such as research, writing, and speaking in authentic, meaningful contexts.

• Nayla Morton, Sandpoint High School, “CTE Students Run Business,” $4,000. Graphic design students will have the opportunity to have hands-on experience in working with the customer in creating a custom product and business students will obtain industry experience running and managing a spirit store, including marketing, web development, accounting, and customer service.

• Heather Guthrie, “Kaleidoscope Art Education,” District Wide, $2,500. This program offers academically and developmentally based art lesson that address Idaho state learning standards for the visual arts and common core standards for teaching and learning.

• Jeralyn Mire, Sandpoint High School, “What’s Next,” $1,750. SHS Students will have a variety of opportunities to explore and experience the options available for life after high school through career/technical field trips, tours, job and college fairs and college visits.

• James Koehler, “Buster School Bus Safety,” District Wide, $2,373. Promoting school bus safety throughout the 2019/2020 school year, the Buster Program will be involved in multiple community events and two national campaigns, “School Bus Safety Week” and “Love the Bus Month.”

• Jacki Crossingham, Sandpoint Middle School, “Klondike the Last Adventure,” $1,600. Living Voices will perform a historic presentation focusing on The Klondike Gold Rush-The Last Adventure, serving as a springboard to begin the seventh grade English Language Arts Survival Unit.

• Trish Butler, Kootenai Elementary School, “No Drama Discipline,” $2,590. Kootenai Elementary Staff will participate in a book study and training on No Drama Discipline, The Whole-Brain Way to Calm Chaos and Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind.

• Lynette Leonard, Southside Elementary School, “Smartlab: Creativity Learning,” $7,000. Southside students will explore S.T.E.A.M. through applied technology and project-based learning in the integrated learning environment of a Smartlab, carefully designed to foster development of higher order thinking skills, where everything works together to support hands-on learning.

• Randy Wilhelm, Lake Pend Oreille High School, “Beekeeping,” $560. This grant will purchase the protective gear for students to wear in order to learn the science and craft of beekeeping and the many aspects involved.

• Shannon Kerrigan, Sandpoint High School, “Training Connection Leaders,” $1,500. This grant will provide professional, research-based training for selected SHS juniors and seniors who are nominated by staff and students to become Connections Leaders.

• Carolyn Whalen, “Learning with Lucky,” District Wide, $9,000. Each first-grade student in the district will start the school year with a stuffed animal lab puppy that will serve as part of their daily reading team, proven to increase reading fluency and proficiency.

• William Love, Sandpoint High School, “Video Production Upgrade,” $5,792. The grant will purchase professional-grade video cameras and equipment for journalism students in the Cedar Post and Monticola classes at SHS.

• Dana Stockman, Sandpoint High School, “AcaDeca Sickness and Health,” $4,150. This grant gives SHS Academic Decathlon Program the opportunity to purchase curriculum materials and supplies to support the SHS AcaDeca Team for the 2019-2020 topic of In Sickness and in Health: An Exploration of Illness and Wellness, as they prepare across all academic subjects.

• Becky Forell, Sagle Elementary, “Mystery Science,” $1,000. This grant allows a continued subscription to Mystery Science, impacting all students in grades K-5 at Sagle Elementary with this engaging, interactive and innovative curriculum.

• Megan Jordan, Washington Elementary School, “Literacy for Little Learners,” $1,263. Kindergarten students at Washington will have hands-on materials to build a strong language arts base with the focus on phonemic awareness, letter knowledge, listening comprehension and vocabulary.

• Elizabeth Delessio, Farmin and Kootenai Elementary Schools, “LPOSD Summer STEM Camp,” $4245. Summer STEM Camp is designed to engage students with hands-on opportunities in order to help prevent the summer achievement gap. Open to incoming 1st-6th students of Kootenai and Farmin-Stidwell.

• Kendall Lang, Sandpoint High School, “Now and Next Summit,” $1,550. This grant provides students and their families with information and resources to assist students as they make decisions during high school in order to plan for their future and their post-graduation goals.

• Tom Albertson, Sandpoint High School, “PLC Assessment to Improve,” $5,000. SHS will partner with Solution Tree to bring a guest instructor to speak about assessment practices to guide and measure student learning as part of the Professional Learning Communities for all teachers.

• Shantelle Gillis, Northside Elementary School, “Arts and Tech Integration,” $5,000. This grant allows Northside Elementary to continue to implement an integrated arts skills development and art history curriculum, providing arts integration through age-appropriate education and supplies.

• Jeannie Hunter, Sandpoint High School, “Broadway in Sandpoint,” $4,996. This grant provides royalty and rental fees for a major Broadway Play, to support and stage the production, showcasing student performance, stagecraft and technical work in planning and implementation.

• Krista Jones, Southside Elementary School, “Bal-A-Vis-X Exercise,” $1800. Funding of this grant will make it possible for two teachers to attend the BLVX Training this summer as well as purchase the equipment to bring this multi-faceted mind-body system to Southside Elementary.

• Nayla Morton, Sandpoint High School, “Budget Challenge Simulation,” $1,250. This grant provides registration fees for Budget Challenge, a personal finance simulation geared toward high school students to teach money management skills.

• Natassia Hamer, Washington Elementary School, “Leading Learning,” $5,620. This grant will make it possible for Washington School’s Leading Learning Team to attend the Professional Learning Communities at Work Institute to then bring PLC to Washington Elementary.

• Debbie Smith, Sandpoint High School, “Future Diplomats,” $1450. This grant will support SHS student participation in the National High School Model United Nations Conference held annually in NYC, building active, educated, globally-minded citizens.

• Chantel Casey, Sandpoint Middle School, “Professional Learning Communities,” $2,500. Three SMS 7th grade Language Arts Teachers will attend the Professional Learning Communities at Work Conference, focusing on the roles and importance of Professional Learning Communities in our schools.

• Kelly Curtiss, Sandpoint Middle School, “Idaho Battle of the Books,” $1,000. This grant brings Idaho Battle of the Books (IBOB) to SMS, a statewide voluntary reading motivation and comprehension program, exposing students to a vast variety of quality literature.

• Melinda Rossman, Home School Academy, “Arts. Drama. Arts. Culture,” $5,000. This grant will make it possible to have at least one dramatic production each year and to bring in guests for cultural celebrations and education.

• Paul Gunter, Forrest Bird Charter Schools, “Ovations Performing Arts Education,” $2,500. The Ovations Outreach Program will bring performing arts education to students in LPOSD through academic-based performance workshops that address Idaho State and Common Core Standards.

• Jamie Parnell, Northside Elementary School, “Summer Library Hours,” $1,328. Students at Northside will have access to their library over the summer months to promote summer reading and engagement in an effort to continue to build skills as a reader and minimize learning loss.

• LeeAnn Kopsa, Kootenai Elementary School, “Summer STEM and Reading,” $4,853. Summer reading and hands-on STEM projects will be paired for exciting summer opportunities for children and parents of Kootenai Elementary.

• Kelli Knowles, Kootenai Elementary School, “KT Learning Landscape,” $851. This grant will assist in the development of an outdoor learning classroom at Kootenai Elementary. This space will be a multi-use addition to campus and will be in collaboration with Kaniksu Land Trust.

• Alice Griffith, Farmin-Stidwell Elementary School, “Keyboarding for Success,” $547. This online keyboarding program will teach students proficiency at keyboarding, utilizing the self-paced, individualized program, “Keyboarding for Kids”.

• Jeannie Hunter, Sandpoint High School, “I Can See My Makeup,” $390. The purchase of new make-up mirrors will benefit the theatre department, as students will use the mirrors to prepare for multiple productions each year, working on stagecraft and proper make-up application.

• Pam Webb, Sandpoint High School, “APSI: Literature,” $769. This grant will allow teacher training and information for the newly revised Advanced Placement course exams for Language and Literature.

• Aaron Gordon, Sandpoint High School, “Brass Instruments,” $869. SHS will receive a new brass instrument, a Bach Flugelhorn, benefiting the music program and adding to a full instrumental ensemble.

• Lori Padilla, “Book Trust Readers,” District Wide, $4,000. This grant will help second graders purchase Scholastic Books each month in a program that works to improve reading skills by assisting in the choosing, ordering and building of one’s own personal library.

• Kristi Harrison, Hope Elementary School, “Books for All,” $1,500. This grant will help fund the Book Trust Program partnership with Scholastic to provide money toward books for K-3 students each month of the school year.

SANDPOINT — The Panhandle Alliance for Education awarded more than $118,000 to local educators on Thursday in support of programs that enrich the lives of students in the Lake Pend Oreille School District.

Since PAFE’s inception in 2003, we have contributed almost $1.8 million into the classrooms through this teacher grant program,” said PAFE president Geraldine Lewis. “In addition to that, we have put almost $3 million in to district-wide strategic programs over the years ... It is a community-wide investment into public education and into the future of every one of the students here.”

Each year, PAFE celebrates local educators with a Teacher Grant Awards night, featuring stories from select awardees. The first grant story this year was by Northside Elementary librarian Jamie Parnell, who was awarded $1,328 to allow students access to the school library throughout the summer to promote summer reading. Parnell said she opens the library every summer to the students and their families, but through the PAFE grant, in combination with another grant she received, Parnell will be offering a STEM course this year as well.

“I am hoping to not only encourage and foster the love for education and reading, but to spark the innovative thinkers and problem solvers,” Parnell said.

Krista Jones, a teacher at Southside Elementary, was awarded $1,800 to expand the Bal-A-Vis-X exercise program at the school. Bal-A-Vis-X is an acronym for balance/auditory/vision exercises, which are of varied complexity and rooted in rhythm. Exercises are done with sand-filled bags and racquetballs, sometimes while standing on a balance board.

“It has a long-term effect and within the small group that I’ve seen, the boys especially who are doing it right now, they are so focused on it and what they don’t realize is what’s taking place in the brain and their body, then when they get into the classroom how that is applied,” she said. “I’m really excited about seeing it grow throughout the school and how it could become, in the STEM class, a school-wide program that we can use.”

Also from Southside, principal Jacque Johnson took to the podium to talk about the $2,031 she was awarded on Thursday.

“I am so excited about Swamp Rock Fiddle Camp,” Johnson said, before playing an example tune on her computer.

The grant will allow students to take part in a string teaching residency focused on acquiring the skills to perform a three-cord fiddle tune with a guitar accompaniment.

The final story of the evening came from Nicole Huguenin of Farmin-Stidwell Elementary. Huguenin was awarded a $5,500 grant titled, “Makerspace: Final Frontier.” Last year, Huguenin said the school received a grant for the “mission control center for the starship Farmin-Stidwell.” The new grant will give students the tools and supplies needed to create a makerspace, where they can practice design thinking — empathize, define the problem, ideate, prototype and test.

Huguenin also expressed gratitude to PAFE for their support of such programs.

“Getting a PAFE grant feels like getting a big check on the ‘Ellen DeGeneres show,’” Huguenin said. “It allows us as teachers to dream … you wonderful donors and PAFE give us the money to help these students — It changes their lives.”

The four who shared their stories were also the recipients of four special awards for music and arts, math and science, innovation and literacy.

LPOSD Superintendent Shawn Woodward addressed all of the educators in the room when he said, “You are the magic that makes the school district so wonderful.”

“The fact that community members are willing to invest in you says an awful lot year in and year out,” Woodward said. “I couldn’t be more proud as a superintendent of the work that you all are doing on behalf of kids. Thank you so much.”

A full list of those receiving PAFE grants can be found online at

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