West High School
The blast from the West Fertilizer Company explosion on April 17, 2013, destroyed the district’s high school, junior high and intermediate school. Although West ISD currently teaches in portable buildings, the Great American School Spectacular prize would be used to purchase SMART boards for the English department at the high school and junior high once the new schools are built.
LaVoy Exceptional Center
Reading can teach students about the world and open minds to different cultures. But for a population of visually impaired students at LaVoy, the library shelves lack the audiobooks that can help accomplish these goals. If named a winner, Chamberlain intends to stock the school library with audiobooks of varying genres to help foster a love of reading for each and every one of her exceptional students.
Pickens County Career & Technology Center
As a drop-out prevention program now in its second year, Pickens County Career & Technology Center strives to provide innovative teaching methods, hands-on learning, and a strong push for literacy, character, and preparing for the future. Prize money would be used to purchase new technology, such as iPads, as well as to continue to build the program’s growing library.
Portola Valley School District
Using a Project Based Learning approach, Keplinger enlisted the help of her 7th and 8th grade students to think of ways to revitalize the school’s STEM classroom. The class hopes to upgrade furniture, purchase whiteboard and magnetized surfaces for brainstorm and design purposes, and install a mounted projector.
Santa Lucia Elementary School
As a participant in the “JUST RUN®” physical fitness incentive program, the students of Santa Lucia Elementary School make due running the quarter-mile perimeter of an adjacent field. Gopher hills and holes have made the field uneven, and rain makes the field too muddy. A surfaced running track would make physical education both easier and safer, and would help the community stay active as well.
As the use of technology has become more prevalent in schools, Quinlan strives to bring SMART board learning opportunities to her special education classroom. Using interactive protractors, spinners, clocks, and other tools to help teach math lessons, she strives to bring creative and fun learning opportunities to her students.
S.S. Dixon Primary
In the school’s rural district, no schools currently offer comprehensive technology-based instruction. If named a winner of the Great American School Spectacular, the 700+ students at S.S. Dixon Primary will benefit from a state-of-the-art C.I.A. Lab – Collaborate, Innovate and Assimilate. The C.I.A. lab will feature a variety of learning technologies, including collaborative learning tables with ports for iPads and laptops, a film studio, and a complete Mimio interactive system.
Access Charter School
As an educator in a charter school for middle and high school students with autism, Burch currently teaches in a converted office space with furniture that it too small for her students (ages 14-21). Prize money would help defer the costs of purchasing SMART boards, computers, iPads and furniture for the school’s eventual new space.
Sidney Sawyer Elementary
Located in the Southwest Side of Chicago, Sidney Sawyer Elementary was unable to purchase textbooks or workbooks this school year. To allow students more time to delve deep into answering questions (instead of copying them from the board), Zaragoza plans to purchase a set of Chromebooks to help bring value to and modernize her students’ educational experience.
Lodi Middle School
As a 30-year teaching veteran, Alexander dreams of updating her science classroom, originally built in 1965. She wrote, “A labor of love where I teach science with such passion, white boards, SMART ones...please help give me anything in current fashion.” Alexander hopes that these seemingly basic teaching supplies will help engage students who are experiencing science for the first time, with the potential to open doors for future science careers.