15 BCSD schools received Teacher Grants for Fall 2018

Foundation awards grants to local teachers
Posted on 10/26/2018
Students and teachers after being awarded grants

October 23, 2018, Foundation for Educational Excellence
For Publicity, email Lisa Carroll or call 843-304-1922 

Foundation awards grants to
local teachers

BEAUFORT CO., S.C. – Board members, donors and volunteers from The Foundation for Educational Excellence surprised faculty members from 15 different schools across Beaufort County last week with balloons and oversized checks as they awarded the teachers the Foundation’s Innovative Teacher Grants for Fall 2018.

These 19 grants totaling more than $14,000, will impact students through the district in classes ranging from early childhood centers through high school. Some of the projects funded this year include outdoor fitness stations, 3-D anatomical models, photography equipment and supplies for creating a school-wide composting initiative.

This grant cycle was partially funded by generous contributions from the Friends of Callawassie Island, the Rotary Club of Okatie and the Foundation’s major fundraiser, “Jewels and Jeans.” The event is held each spring and offers an opportunity for attendees to “Fund-a-Grant” by pledging money toward partial funding of the Foundation’s grants. Two grants for aeronautics projects at River Ridge Academy were funded through a private donation.

Agata Marzec, an English teacher at May River High School, was awarded a grant for her project “Sensory Wonder: Creating a Tactile-Audio Illustrated Book for Learners with a Visual Impairment.” This grant will allow her students to enhance their creative writing skills while simultaneously raising their awareness of the needs of learners with a visual impairment and learning the principles of Braille. The final product will enter the international Typhlo & Tactus Tactile Illustrated Book Prize competition in Belgium, October 2019. The winning book will be then translated into multiple languages and published internationally.

Hilton Head Island IB Elementary teachers Smita Dadheech and Shari Harshman were excited to receive funding for their grant project, “West African Drumming.” The grant money will go toward  hiring an artist in residence for one week to teach the fifth-grade students about West African drumming while giving them an opportunity to make connections to the American history they study in fifth grade. This experience will expose students to the music, culture, language, and customs of various West African countries.

Alissa Stripling, a numeracy coach at Lady’s Island Elementary, received a grant for her project “Engineering is Elementary – Evaluating a Landscape.” Through this grant, students will have the opportunity to dig into the role of geotechnical engineers where they must select a safe, flood-proof and erosion-proof location for a new TarPul by working with a model riverbank to study soil properties and examine maps to assess the potential for erosion at different sites along the river.

“We always look forward to grant season,” says Susan Hughson, Foundation Board Member and Grant Chair. “It's great to see the wide range of ideas that come from our teachers across the district. We are happy to be able to contribute to bringing fun and innovative projects to life for over 3,000 students with these grants.”

The grant recipients for Fall 2018 are listed below:                                             




Anatomy Models for 3D Learning

Beaufort High School

David Shervin

Who Are the People in Our Neighborhood?

Joseph Shanklin Elementary School

Melissale Rivera

Thinking in the Third Dimension

HHI Elementary School for the Creative Arts

Jennifer Friend-Kerr

Sensory Wonder: Tactile Audio Illustrated Book

May River High School

Agata Marzec

What Goes Around, Comes a Round

Okatie Elementary School

Bree Lauffer and 3 others

Breakout of the Ordinary with an Exciting Escape

HHI Elementary School for the Creative Arts

Sandra Courtney

Baillie Players Mentorship Program

Coosa Elementary School

Christine Warner and Emma Young


Lady's Island Elementary School

Harry T. Smith

Digital Instruction by Students for Students

Battery Creek High School

John Cullinen

Flying High with Hot Air Balloons

River Ridge Academy

Eric Mohrman

Engineering is Elementary--Evaluating a Landscape

Lady's Island Elementary School

Alissa Stripling

Using Motion to Learn

Beaufort High School

Barry Swindler

Young Astronauts Rocketing into Space

River Ridge Academy

Eric Mohrman and Marlayna Tracy

Where in the World…?

HH Island IB Elementary School

Denise Bell

PBL is Going Green in Kindergarten

Red Cedar Elementary School

Sandra Viskovich and 5 others

Robotics is the Future

Lady's Island Middle School

Joseph Evenden and Rebekah Foster

Outdoor Fitness Station

Hilton Head Island High School

Matthew Pheiffer and John Wyatt

Modeling the Physics of Roller Coasters

H. E. McCracken Middle School

Jana Goodwin Shea

West African Drumming

HH Island IB Elementary School

Smita Dadheech and Shari Harshman



Established in 2008 to support the mission and goals of the Beaufort County School District, the Foundation supports student instructional activities and projects through Innovative Teacher Grants, Innovative School Resource Grants and Student Enrichment Grants. Grants are as diverse as purchasing supplies for building a robot or establishing an eco-habitat for native species. What all grants have in common is that they spark inquisitive minds. Twice a year, applications are submitted to the Foundation. Projects are chosen on their merit by a committee of the Foundation. Since 2009, the Foundation has awarded over $210,000 in grants to the teachers, schools, and students in the public school system. The Foundation is a 501(c)3 and a fund of the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry.