Monday, June 13, 2016

Local Teachers Awarded Grants

Two Sequoyah County teachers are among the 10 to whom the Cherokee Nation awarded $1,000 grants at the Cherokee Nation’s Teachers of Successful Students (TOSS) Conference at Northeastern State University on June 7 and 8 in Tahlequah.

The two teachers are Sallisaw’s Chris Magie who received the grant for students to record STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) library stories, and Muldrow Public Schools’ Sherry Christopher who plans to buy gardening tools, and an online math and science simulator.

For a fourth straight year, the Cherokee Nation funded the conference at no cost to teachers. They learn to apply hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities and reading into everyday learning.

To culminate the conference, 10 teachers received a total of $10,000 in Creative Teaching Grants to start projects in their classrooms.

“We are committed to expanded educational opportunities in northeast Oklahoma. The tribe has assumed an essential role in giving public school teachers better tools to teach our youth, especially in the STEM universe,” said Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin Jr., who gave the welcome address at the conference. “As we prepare our citizens for a growing global economy, it’s critical to have a strong academic foundation. TOSS is a unique gathering because it is a chance to share what truly works in classrooms as we try to better engage kids and spark that interest in lifelong learning.” 

Sessions ranged from creating culturally based science curricula and trait-based writing to using smartphones to measure acceleration of gravity.

Other teachers receiving $1,000 grants include:

Leach Public Schools’ Tracie Hix to start a monarch butterfly garden

Bluejacket Public Schools’ Shane Wall for buying switches, electric boxes, etc., to prepare FFA and CDE students for competitions

Bluejacket Public Schools’ Shawn Martin to buy a telescope to study planets and stars

Fort Gibson Public Schools’ Mojah Hamner to create digital Native American stories

Tahlequah Public Schools’ Tiffany Cacy to record stories of Cherokee elders

Justus-Tiawah Public Schools’ Jennifer Kilpatrick for bringing STEM to kindergarten

Westville Public Schools’ Jolene Faddis for studying biochemical and lifecycles

Maryetta Public School teacher Annie Kimble’s fifth-grade class will read about the Titanic and then build replica boats.

Nearly 200 teachers attended the conference. 

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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