Two local teachers earn grant for trip

Submitted photo Becky Buchenic, a Hubbard Middle School math teacher, left, and Marla Dull, a Blott Guy PK - 6 science teacher, pose with their first Fund for Teachers Fellow grant during their educational expedition in 2019.

HUBBARD — Two local teachers were chosen as Fund for Teachers Fellows for an upcoming educational science trip.

Becky Buchenic, a Hubbard Middle School math teacher, and Marla Dull, a Blott Guy PK-6 science teacher, were chosen out of 893 applications for the $10,000 grant through the Fund for Teachers. They were awarded one of 277 grants provided.

On their trip, they will explore Zion National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Meteor Crater Natural Landmark, Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park, where they will study astronomy.

Buchenic said while there, they also will attend the astronomy festival at Bryce Canyon National Park and will end their trip at Lowell Observatory, where Pluto was first seen.

“We wanted to explore the dark sky communities out west and since we have limited sites in Ohio, we were looking for somewhere to see clear skies,” she said. “We want to bring what we learn back to the classroom. My partner, Marla, and I are going to collaborate to create a curriculum integrating our experiences (into it) and also (host) a STEM family night.”

Dull said this isn’t their first time earning this grant for an expedition. According to a news release from Hubbard Schools, their first grant received was in 2019.

“We went to different parks last time and we studied ecosystems and rock formations and while we were there we saw they had these dark sky communities and that piqued our interest,” Dull said.

She said she and Buchenic met because their sons played baseball together.

Buchenic said they are going to fly to Bosman, Montana and drive from there.

“We’re scheduled to drive over 1,200 miles so we’re really trying to squeeze every minute out of it,” she said. “We rented a car and that’s also covered by the grant.”

Dull said they applied for the grant five years ago, and won’t be able to apply for another five years.

“I spend most of my day teaching and trying to get students interested in learning and (now) my role is reversed and I am becoming a learner so I’m very excited,” she said.

Buchenic said being awarded the grant is a privilege.

“We feel very honored that we were chosen,” she said. “It’s a competitive process so we really researched our work and our opportunities. It’s been a nice experience for us because Fund for Teachers has put their confidence and trust in us, which feels very empowering.”

The duo will leave for their trip on May 31 and will return June 10.

Have an interesting story? Contact Hailey Rogenski by email at hrogenski@tribtoday.com. Follow us on X, formerly Twitter, @TribToday.


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