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Foundation Awards $46K to TPS Educators


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54c6b81cdaed7 Front Row Left-to-Right: Ellie Peterson, Sharon Champlin, Gabriela Veith Back Row L-R: Breanna Batey, Barbara Fuller, Kim Copeland, Ashley Talburt, Zac Priest, Carrie Scearce, Lucas Foster, Kin Thompson
Front Row Left-to-Right: Ellie Peterson, Sharon Champlin, Gabriela Veith Back Row L-R: Breanna Batey, Barbara Fuller, Kim Copeland, Ashley Talburt, Zac Priest, Carrie Scearce, Lucas Foster, Kin Thompson

TAHLEQUAH, OK – January is all about new beginnings. The beginning of a new year, the start to chase those New Year’s resolutions, diets, reading plans, and so on. And, Tahlequah Public Schools is no different: many teachers are able to begin new projects benefitting students thanks the Tahlequah Public Schools Foundation and generous donations from the community.

On January 16, the TPSF awarded grants in excess of $46,000 and presented the awards at school assemblies as the “Prize Patrol.”

Tahlequah Public Schools Foundation is comprised of 15 individuals serving on a Board of Trustees. Dr. Lucas Foster is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Northeastern State University, this is his second time to serve as president.

“We funded more this year than we have in the past,” said Dr. Foster. “And we think that is awesome!  We hope that our award amounts will increase each year.”

Grant applications are accepted year round but must be received by December 19 for consideration. To determine who the recipients are, a committee uses a rubric to evaluate each application, scores are assigned to each application and then the applications are ranked by score. The highest scores are then awarded the grants.

Ellie Peterson-Vega teaches Fundamentals, Painting and Ceramics at Tahlequah High School. Peterson-Vega wrote a proposal called “Artists and Technology.” She wanted to purchase a digital tablet to help teach students about digital illustration and painting. She is now able to begin putting her proposal into action.

“We have a lot of art kids who are also computer savvy and will more than likely go into some sort of graphics or animation career,” said Peterson-Vega. ”I want to help get them started on their way. Before I started teaching I worked in Graphics and Illustration. So, this is near and dear to my heart.”


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54c6b81cdaed7Front Row Left-to-Right: Carrie Scearce, Ashley Talburt, Tiffany Cacy, Barbara Fuller Back Row L-R: Breanna Batey, Zac Priest, Lucas Foster, Kim Copeland, Brandi Barnett, Kin Thompson, Mesha Sanchez
Front Row Left-to-Right: Carrie Scearce, Ashley Talburt, Tiffany Cacy, Barbara Fuller Back Row L-R: Breanna Batey, Zac Priest, Lucas Foster, Kim Copeland, Brandi Barnett, Kin Thompson, Mesha Sanchez

Tiffany Cacy, Sequoyah Elementary School teacher was also one of the grant recipients for her proposal “iCan with iPads.”

“When I heard I was receiving a grant, I was shocked, excited, and overwhelmed! It is such an honor to receive one,” said Cacy. ”My proposal was written for the entire school. I am working towards four or five iPads per [classroom]. Thanks to the generosity of the Foundation I am now up to two each.”

The Prize Patrol also put on a skit which, according to Superintendent Lisa Presley, “made the presentations even better.”

“The skit was the brainchild of Brandi Barnett. She came up with the idea, the song choice, and the alternative lyrics. We just went along for the ride!” said Dr. Foster. “We wanted the grant awards to be celebratory in nature. So we sang, danced, and played a djembe.”

Peterson-Vega said she was “thrilled” when the TPSF came to award the grant.

She said, “The Tahlequah Public Schools foundation came into my classroom with two other winners and Mr. Thorne. They played the bongos and sang ‘It's all about the grant, about the grant.’ It was amazing, the students loved it!”

The TPS Foundation website states it “does not replace state funds for education.  Its goal is to nourish excellence and provide a wider range of educational opportunities for our students.”

“Basically, the foundation supports the school district by supplementing the education budget,” said Dr. Foster. “Our purpose is exclusively educational and charitable and is to secure and distribute contributions from individuals, corporations and foundations for the benefit of the students.”

The TPS Foundation is completely donation based. All grants are funded in this manner. If you would like to be a part of fulfilling student needs, visit the Tahlequah Public Schools Foundation website: TahlequahPublicSchoolsFoundation.org.

“You can directly influence the quality of education our students receive by helping teachers realize their dreams. No amount is too small,” states the TPS Foundation’s website. “Together, we can make great things possible.”


Tahlequah Public Schools Foundation Grant Recipients and Proposals

THS   Artists and Technology
THS   Calculators for Testing
THS   Quick Response
TMS   Circle of Life
TMS   Beyond the Classroom
TMS   Choir Robes for the Masses
TMS   Weather Station
TMS   Buzzing Our Way
Central   Lifelong Readers
Cherokee   Enhancing Literacy
Cherokee   Inventing the Future
Cherokee   Science and Soc Studies
Cherokee   Tech for Reading Fluency
Cherokee   May I Have Your Attention
Greenwood   Mini Ways to Reach Many
Greenwood   Cooking for a Cause
Greenwood   iPad Minis for Impact
Greenwood   Tech in Literacy Lab
Greenwood   Advancing Robotics
Heritage   iPads for ELLs
Sequoyah   iCan with iPads

Foundation Awards $46K to TPS Educators

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Tahlequah Public Schools225 N Water Ave.Tahlequah, OK  74464

p. 918.458.4100f. 918.458.4103

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