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The Eudora Schools Foundation (ESF) announced today the award of more than $34,000 to fund 29 teachers’ innovative programs in the Eudora school district. The grants help teachers establish programs to enhance student learning and success. The ESF has awa

Eudora, KS: The Eudora Schools Foundation (ESF) announced today they award of more than $34,000 to fund 29 teachers’ innovative programs in the Eudora school district. The grants help teachers establish programs to enhance student learning and success. The ESF has awarded over 200 grants and funded over $178,000 in classroom educational initiatives since 2006. This year’s awards mark the highest amount of classroom grants given in the ESF’s 17-year history.

“Innovative teachers create innovative thinkers, which is what Teacher Excellence Grants are all about. The Foundation's mission is to do what we can to enhance student learning; these grants are one way to acknowledge and appreciate teachers looking for new ways to do just that,” said Denise Dietz, ESF President. “When you have teachers who want to help their students excel and an extraordinary community of donors who wish to see the same - ESF only has to plug in the pieces, and the magic happens.”

The chosen projects will benefit students from preschool through 12th grade. Examples of the grants proposed include STEM projects, career exploration, music education, and cross-curricular education. Grants were awarded in the following amounts:

Eudora Elementary School $12,800

Eudora Middle School: $12,000

Eudora High School: $9,500


Individual school grants and award recipients are listed below:


Eudora Elementary School

  • Bridges Learning System – enhances the social-emotional learning resources for neurodiverse students. These resources help develop student independence, social connection, confidence, and community inclusion by using the Bridges Learning System, a game-based learning system that aligns with current evidence-based practices. Grant Recipient: Courtney Chacon


  • The Calming Cardinal Room – aims to provide a nurturing environment where students can develop essential emotional regulation skills, reduce stress, promote overall well-being, and improve academic focus. Grant Recipients: Bonnie Allen & Briana Wilkerson


  • Cards for Math – enhances second-grade students’ math understanding by building their number sense through hands-on, engaging math learning activities during core math and intervention groups. Recipients: Amber Jackson & Rachelle Butler


  • Excelling Beyond Expectations – enriches kindergarteners’ math and reading resources by offering more challenging games and manipulatives for students who are high achieving. Challenging them to continue their academic growth and excel to their full potential. Grant Recipients: Lynae Rebman & Paige Hayden


  • Functional Skills – Enhances students’ functional academic skills using a lightbox and accompanying manipulatives. Ultimately, assisting students in meeting IEP goals and learning practical skills, such as money, time, functional reading, and daily living skills. Grant Recipient: Erin Weinmaster


  • Garden Goers & Growers – enhances the current EES garden by providing tools needed to make it more interactive and hands-on for all students from preschool to 5th grade. These tools would make it more feasible to host full classes in the “building” phase of the garden. Grant Recipient: Amber Jackson


  • Making Music More Accessible – provides students with developmental or cognitive disabilities the ability to fully participate in music class by providing them adaptive tools that help them excel along with their peers during music instruction tools, such as headphones, gripping mallet, and forming chord. Grant Recipients: Rebecca Killen & Jessica Vanstory


  • Math and Success Add Up – enriches fourth-grade students’ ability to discover efficient math strategies and increase their computational reasoning skills using mathematical games. These games will help reinforce logic and STEM skills. Grant Recipient: Nicole Murphy


  • Molding Minds with Makerspace – fosters kindergarteners’ creative exploration, engineering, tinkering, inventing, critical thinking, and purposeful play. Using Makerspace, students can discover, assemble, problem-solve, construct, test, and explore using divergent and out-of-the-box thinking - all critical skills to prepare them for the 21st-century world. Grant Recipients: Paige Hayden & Lynae Rebman


  • Occupational Therapy Fine Motor – provides kindergarten through 12th-grade occupational therapy students hands-on engagement tools for letter identification, sequencing, motor planning, working memory, and fine motor skills while building hand strength and resistance. Grant Recipient: Taylor Gillihann


  • Physical Movement Break – creates an opportunity for third-grade students to improve focus, concentration, and ability to stay on task in the classroom with maze activities, sensory steps, yoga and exercise tools. Studies show short physical activity breaks in the classroom improve students’ behavior, the effort they put forth in their activities, and their ability to stay on task. Grant Recipient: Samantha Pattrick


  • Preschool Fun! – provides preschoolers with occupational therapy tools to assist with motor skills. The OT game toolbox for younger students will help with classroom goals of increased math, language, and social skills. Grant Recipient: Gretchen Reed


  • Read, Record, and Share – enhances third-grade students’ reading comprehension, communication skills, and empathy by allowing them to select, read aloud, and record books from a diverse collection. These recorded sessions will then be shared with younger grades. Grant Recipient: Tiffany Parker


  • Sensory Meets Math and Reading – assist third-grade students in sensory processing by providing manipulatives to explore and engage in math, spelling, and reading lessons. Grant Recipients: Samantha Pattrick and Jordan Lorenzo


Eudora Middle School

  • 8th Grade Career Exploration Experience - Student Led Career Fair – enhances all of the 8th-grade students' career exploration with real-life, hands-on project experience where they can gain and practice necessary ELA skills through research, writing, and presentation, along with applied knowledge of an occupation as they prepare for career development and post-secondary education. Grant Recipients: Michelle Plegge, Jamie Meyers, and CherrieAnn Lindsey


  • Building Research Skills and Communication Skills Through Podcasting – allows extended learning students to increase their research, creative writing, and communication skills through podcasting and ultimately creating engaging and educational material to share with their peers. Grant Recipient: Barbie Hartwell


  • Fingertip Pulse Oximeters – provides sixth and seventh-grade students the opportunity to explore and understand the core concept of homeostasis in both their science and physical education classrooms. Students will find their pulse, target heart rate, and why heart rate fluctuations demonstrate equilibrium. Grant Recipients: Sondra Garner, Kyle Stadalman, and Brandon Parker


  • Outdoor Connect Four – provides middle school students an alternative activity at the Outdoor Learning Center to play a giant Connect Four game that promotes strategic thinking, problem-solving, social interaction, and peer bonding. Grant Recipient: Mitchell Tegtmeier


  • SLAP Games! – aims to address the need for high-quality, accessible, and adaptable sports equipment that promotes physical activity. All EMS students will use these games in the net games unit of physical education classes. A goal is to expose students to various sporting experiences for individuals that can be taught and played at all ages and abilities. Grant Recipients: Mitchell Tegtmeier, Sondra Garner and Brandon Parker


  • Telegraph Machine Kits – encourage 8th-grade students to develop practical skills in soldering, circuit assembly, and troubleshooting by building a telegraph machine. The social studies department aims to foster technology education and historical understanding among students. This project is a unique educational tool that will help students learn about the history and principles behind telegraphy while also enhancing their hands-on skills in electronics and communication technology. Grant Recipient: Lee Minton


  • Think Like a Scientist – enriches 6th-grade students' understanding of science by incorporating hands-on games, puzzles, and manipulatives. These resources provide opportunities for problem-solving, perseverance, and collaboration with their peers. Grant Recipient: Katie Hammerschmidt


  • Trout in the Classroom – provides 7th-grade students with the opportunity to raise trout from eggs to adults while setting up an ecosystem in their science classroom. Students will use data collection to analyze oxygen, ammonia, pH, and bacteria levels while learning about the life cycle, with the goal of releasing the trout with the help of Kansas Wildlife and Parks. Grant Recipient: Kyle Stadalman


Eudora High School

  • Animal & Vet Science Injection Training– enhances students' ability to learn hands-on methods of venipuncture, suture, and laboratory testing on various species of animals as students are enrolled in agriculture education courses. Grant Recipient: Mandi Holsten


  • Building Robots – allows extended learning students to enhance their computer programming skills through building robots from breadboards to sensors to coding using Arduino and Raspberry Pi programming. Grant Recipient: Barbie Hartwell


  • The Digital Weight Room – allows health & physical education students to have instant feedback on their running and training performance with accurate and valid data through FX timing chips. This enhances our training by collecting baseline data and doing by-week training sessions quickly. Grant Recipient: Scott Russell


  • Math Board Games – enhances high school students' mental math skills through various math board games. These games will increase math fluency, logic, reasoning, and strategy skills. Every student at EHS would benefit from the games in their math courses and during cardinal advisory while providing a bridge between grade levels and abilities. Grant Recipients: Caitlin McFadden, Jim Barnard, Kyle Deterding, Wrigley Heide, Scott Keltner, and MaryJo Swann


  • Mic Check – provides students enrolled in video production a quality way to record audio from far physical distances during productions with the option of using professional cameras or a cellphone. Grant Recipient: Nate Robinson


  • Serging Forward – allows Family and Consumer Science students to use a serger to expand their hands-on project. This complex tool will enable students to increase their knowledge base from the regular classroom sewing machines. Grant Recipient: Renee Mueting


  • “What’s on your plate” – provides the opportunity for Family and Consumer Science students to learn how to use small, time-saving kitchen appliances such as Insta pots, air fryers, and griddles. A goal is to teach students how to use current and comparable equipment to what they may have access to in their homes or living on their own in future years. Grant Recipient: Renee Mueting

The Eudora Schools Foundation is a nonprofit organization 501(c)(3) that generates resources, builds relationships, and champions public education in Eudora public schools. Founded in 2006, the Foundation exists to enhance the quality of education through partnerships with the community. Expenditures are primarily directed toward enhancing classroom instruction and impacting the broadest number of Eudora students. 





ESF Classroom Grant Prize Patrol