Partners in Education celebrates ‘Thank You’ reception with surprise grant

May 8, 2019 | News

When Fox Run Elementary Principal Kim Orihuela and GT teacher Patty Hernandez arrived at the Partners in Education ‘Thank You’ celebration, they expected to enjoy student performances and tasty appetizers. They walked away with much more than that.

The North East Educational Foundation (NEEF) unveiled a grant for $27,721 to fund a STEAM program at Fox Run Elementary.

Hernandez, a GT teacher at Woodstone and Fox Run, helped Orihuela submit a North East Educational Foundation Innovative Grant Request earlier this year that detailed equipping a classroom with materials that would include 21st century technology, electronic invention kits and manipulatives.

“The STEAM program will be for all grade levels because there is so much potential in everyone,” Hernandez said.

Orihuela was shocked to learn that her vision was now on its way to reality.

“This is such an honor and a blessing because we have big plans and big dreams,” Orihuela said. “This is about giving all of our students the opportunity to extend their learning and just finding their creativity within the classroom.”

Innovative Grants are typically awarded in the Fall, but NEEF Projects Chair Trent Davidson selected one grant to be awarded at the ‘Thank You’ reception held at Phil Hardberger Park Urban Ecology Center on May 7.

Business partners and donors were just as excited and surprised to see the check handed to the educators.

The reception also featured a talented quartet from McArthur Orchestra, student greeters from several high schools, two phenomenal performances by Bush Middle School Pop Ensemble and beautiful artwork created by NEISD students for guests to take home.

Executive Director for Partners in Education Amy Lane gave a warm welcome to everyone in attendance and highlighted the importance of the contributions made by partners.

Interim superintendent Dr. Sean Maika thanked everyone present for supporting teachers who make magic happen every day.

“Your generous contributions whether, monetary or time, or both, help support the great work that our teachers and staff each do each day in our schools,” Dr. Maika said.

He added that NEISD is blessed to not only have one partnership, but many of them.

“Consequently, our success in the North East Independent School District is amplified by your generous donations,” Dr. Maika said. “Thank you for the incredible impact that you make in the lives of our students and employees.”

NEISD Board of Trustees President Shannon Grona also thanked the audience for their tireless contributions and for partnering in the education of NEISD students. She also thanked Dr. Brian Gottardy for his leadership the last eight years.

Dr. Gottardy thanked everyone in attendance for not only giving their time and money, but also their passion.

“We need people in our community to continue to sing the praises of what our school teachers and our principals and all the other educators in this District are doing,” Dr. Gottardy said. “On behalf of all of us, thank you so much for what you do.”

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