Boardman grants for teachers broaden educational horizons
BOARDMAN — The Boardman Schools Fund for Educational Excellence continues to help district teachers enhance their students’ educational experiences.
Representatives hosted a special conference last week to let the 13 teachers who won a grant explain what they were doing with the funds.
The BSFEE awarded nearly $14,000 in teacher grants this year, with a wide variety of programs and equipment purchased.
“This year we were able to have a cap of $1,750 per grant,” said BSFEE President Lynda Beichner. “I am glad to see some took advantage of the increased amount.”
The BSFEE was formed in 2009 as a vehicle to seek donations and issue teacher mini grants. The grants help provide teachers with the ability to purchase programs, materials and equipment to enhance students’ education.
Over the years, the BSFEE has issued more than $85,000 in grants. In most cases, an extra piece of equipment or a new program could really step things up, no matter what the subject.
One of the fund’s big supporters is the Boardman Education Association, which is the teachers’ union in Boardman. BEA Representative Bill Amendol attended the conference and presented Beichner with a check for $2,000.
“They have donated over $18,000 since the BSFEE began in 2009,” Beichner said.
Award winners and their grant programs are:
Boardman High School science teachers Erik Little, John Richley and Karl Land were awarded $1,367.23 to purchase a mobile sky imaging and observation work station called Orion Starblast 6i Intelliscope with camera, filters and associated equipment.
“We didn’t have a good telescope here at the high school,” Little said. “We have an awesome planetarium here, but no telescope to take into the field.”
He said the new unit will allow students to go into the field and do more. The model that is being sought was sold out at the company the trio originally approached, so Little said they are looking at other companies that would carry the same model.
Lori Szoke from Boardman Center Intermediate School
presented her project, which was awarded the full $1,750. Those funds are going toward a TV studio upgrade, including furniture and paint. She said the TV studio at BCIS dates back 29 years.
Robin Stahura is a social-emotional learning teacher at Stadium Drive Elementary School. Her award of $1,750 will provide for equipment needed to create a “Peace Corner” at the school. She said it will help create a designated area for students to go to self-regulate their emotions.
Krista Schmied, a language arts/health and wellness teacher at West Boulevard, received $731 to create a positive learning environment that includes books and management cards. She said the plan is to create a school-wide mural under this program.
BCIS science teachers Megan Turillo and Ryan Barrett got a grant of $3,336 to purchase 12 cordless microscopes with a digital camera and a 3D stage. Barrett said the new equipment will allow more students to view microscopic items in their science class, thus expanding the learning capabilities.
Boardman Glenwood Junior High School science teacher Eric Diefenderfer was awarded $1,086 to purchase three PASCO Scientific Dissolved Oxygen Gas Sensors.
Glenwood science teacher Laura Frost used her award of $1,499 to purchase a Jackery Solar 1000 Portable Power Station.
Also at Glenwood was a grant for $718.36 for a 3D printer for the social studies department applied for by teacher Carlo Cordon. He uses the printer to help in the study of ancient architecture and tools.
The last grant of $1,750 will go toward full transportation, referees, gear and apparel for a Wheelchair Basketball season. Boardman High School teachers Jeff Hammerton and Marco Marinucci wanted to enhance the physical education for special needs individuals who wanted to participate in physical sports. The new Boardman Wheelchair team has a few students working out, but Hammerton said any student can get involved and even help out.