Teachers rewarded for Bright Ideas

Dec. 14, 2013 @ 04:29 PM

Over the past two months, 27 Union County Public Schools teachers have been awarded approximately $11,000 in Bright Ideas education grants by Union Power Cooperative.The grants will fund innovative projects that could impact thousands of UCPS K-12 students.

The 27 grants, totaling $10,960, were given out over November and December in surprise visits from Union Power representative.

The first teacher to be handed a check was Sandy Ridge Elementary School teacher Laurie Maddex, who received $1,925 for her grant proposal titled, “The Flexible Flipped Classroom.”

The money will provide Mrs. Maddex and several other teachers at her school with funding to purchase Flip Video (HD video cameras) and equipment to be used for more than 160 fourth-grade students at Sandy Ridge.Fourth-grade students will use the technology to learn new material by video, leaving more classroom time for students to work together in small groups and one-on-one with instructors.

“This innovative project will help students get a better grasp of the core curriculum and will help to prepare them for 21st-century careers through the use of technology,” said Luanne Sherron, vice president of communications and key accounts at Union Power.

“We are committed to the communities we serve, and we believe there’s no better investment in the future than in the education of our youth.”

Joining the surprise visit to Sandy Ridge (held during a school-wide assembly) were Carolina Panthers players and mascot Sir Purr.

Union Power also gave grants to the following UCPS teachers:Laurie Maddex, Sandra MacNiven, Sheila Fleming, Nancy Chorney, Kelly Nicoletti, Polly Kiger and Kara McEwen from Sandy Ridge Elementary, who won $1,925 for their project, “The Flexible Flipped Classroom.”

Marla Robles from East Union Middle won $1,672 for her project, “Inside the Body.”

Andrea Alonso from Wingate Elementary won $500 for her project, “Brain Building with Board Game.”

Rena McGee-Helms

and Kerri Mosley from Piedmont Middle won $875 for their project, “KAT (Keeping it All Together) Club.”

Tracy K. Price, Susan Helms and Annette Harris from Piedmont High won $2,000 for their project, “Building Houses, Granting Wishes and Making a Difference!”

Kerri Sofsian from Kensington Elementary won $1,177 for her project, “Our Wonder Window.”

Ann Yochem and Jeffrey Bronstad from Marvin Ridge High won $400 for their project, “Mystery of the Missing Maverick — A Forensic Science Investigation.”

Christine Miller from Rea View Elementary won $415 for her project, “Classroom Economy Management.”

Kathy Glasheen, John Price, Miranda Calandro, Sandra Fugate, Jessica Deck, Patty Morgan, Rick Kukor, Chad Schultz and Christy Burris from Porter Ridge High won $1,996 for their project, “Physics Technology Kit: May the Force Be With You!”

The funds go to teachers, principals, and other educators serving grades K-12, with awards of up to $2,000 being offered for projects in any discipline.Volunteer judges, including educators and community leaders, in a competitive evaluation process, screen the grant applications.

More than 5,300 students will benefit from the Bright Ideas grants awarded by Union Power during surprise visits to area classrooms (not just in Union County) during November and December.

Union Power Cooperative granted a total of $20,640 this year to area teachers for their “bright ideas.”

The Bright Ideas grant program, sponsored by North Carolina’s electric cooperatives, strives to improve education in North Carolina classrooms by awarding grants to teachers for innovative, classroom-based projects in grades K-12 that would not otherwise be funded.

Union Power Cooperative has awarded more than $285,000 to 277 teaching projects in schools throughout its five-county service area since 1994.