Education Foundation grants more than $34,000 to teachers

HRVHS students in Kevin Haspela’s class give a presentation last year on their Earth Science experiment, paid in part by a Hood River County Education Foundation Teacher Grant.

Submitted photo
HRVHS students in Kevin Haspela’s class give a presentation last year on their Earth Science experiment, paid in part by a Hood River County Education Foundation Teacher Grant.

Hood River County Education Foundation (HRCEF) set a new record for sending funds into classrooms in the Hood River County School District with the 2018 Innovative Teaching Grants. Over $34,000 was awarded to 47 educators representing every school in the district.

Grants will provide everything from robots to help elementary students learn computer programming, to heart rate monitors to facilitate more efficient exercise for middle schoolers. The new “Maker Space/STEAM” bus will be equipped with robots to teach programming from one teaching grant, and art activities using technology from another grant.

More video equipment to increase the capacity of Hood River Valley High School journalism students to produce video news programs will be provided by another grant. Last year, HRVHS students live-streamed the Forest Service briefings on the Eagle Creek fire with equipment provided by a teaching grant from HRCEF, and moved their teaching grant activity from the classroom to the community.

“I was thrilled with the quality of proposals from teachers that will explore new ways to teach, new areas to study, and creative uses of technology,” said Aspen McKenna, chair of the HRCEF program. “Last year, the maximum grant amount was raised from $800 to $2,000, which seems to have allowed teachers to think bigger and get more creative. That increase was a nerve-racking risk because if grant requests outpace donations, then lots of applications would have been rejected. Luckily, our donors stepped up and allowed us to fund nearly all the great applications we received.”

To donate to the Innovative Teaching Grants Program or to become a member of the Education Foundation, go to

Here are the 2018 Innovative Teaching Grants funded by the HRCEF:

Mid Valley Elementary: Sarah Christensen, Nancy Behrmann, and Mikka Irusta: Library books in Spanish to support the dual language program; Lydia Petersen: Music Room Flip Forms (risers) from the Music in the Schools grant program.

Westside Elementary: Jackie Adair and Megan Farrell: Materials on West Coast Native Americans for fourth-graders; Amy Hassett, Stacey Doss, and Alissa Greenwood: Yoga mats and drum for first grade; Beth Hoezee, and Brittney Bauer: Second-grade leveled reading classroom library; Danielle Kamerer and all K-4 teachers: Math teaching materials; Carolyn Welty, Megan Sheffels, and Anne Gehrig: Students will interview author Elise Carbone via Skype.

All five elementary schools: Matthew Gerlick: STEM programs to create and program robots; Brack Hassell, Stephanie Perkins, Brandon Bertram, and Robin Haynes: skateboard equipment for elementary PE.

Hood River Valley High School: Sarah Lyon: Materials for printmaking; Carol Birdsell: Attend NAEA conference to develop art projects for the “STEAM Bus;” Jeff Blackman: Engineering activity materials for the “STEAM Bus;” Dave Case: Mobile video production equipment for journalism; Kathryn Davis: Science puzzle-solving materials; Nicole Goode: Classroom library books; Raz Mason: Classroom set of books of essays on Agriculture for English; Mandy Webster: Longer non-fiction texts for English classes; Kathryn Yasui: Books for AP English classes; Ann Zuehlke: Reading materials in English and Spanish for school library.

Hood River Middle School: Laura Haspela: Materials for students to create Children’s Science Museum at HRMS; Ann McDonald: Equipment to use iPads for storytelling with movies, photography, art in English classes; Julie VanDeHey, Tracy Norton, Peg Bogard, and Sarah Segal: Materials on Civil Rights for sixth grade; Jennifer Wilson, and Ann McDonald: Using CPR materials in English classes.

Hood River and Wy’east Middle Schools: Patrick Getchis (WMS), Rebekah Rottenberg (HRMS): Creating inventions with maker software; Brian Stenberg (WMS), Kyle Turner (HRMS), and Stacy Claus (HRMS): Pilot project with heart rate monitors and software.

Wy’east Middle School: Corinne Dichter: e-Books and books for Battle of the Books contest; Emily Kohner, Jennifer Graves, Anne Edwards, and Andrew Nelson: Software to provide a variety of online reading materials for students.

News and information from our partners


Comments are subject to moderator review and may not appear immediately on the site. A user's first several comments must be manually approved by a moderator.

Please read our commenting policy before posting.

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment


Information from the News and our advertisers (Want to add your business to this to this feed?)