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Staff Idea Grant Program 

Staff Idea Grants are one of the most effective means of encouraging innovative upgrading

of classroom materials and technology and promotion of staff development that is beyond the
resources of the Hastings Public Schools. For the 2015-16 school year, the Hastings Public
Schools Foundation will expend $10,020 for Staff Idea Grants that will impact eighteen teachers
and their classrooms. These particular grants are made possible through donations from the Hastings Philanthropic Yoga Society, Hastings Public Schools employees, and
matching funds from the Kinman Oldfield Family Trust. 




Jalaene Choquette, Scott Engberg, Patt McConnaughhay, and Pat Vogel
Hastings Senior High
Navigating Through Your Future with Naviance, $2,000
This grant will make possible the purchase of a web-based platform called Naviance.  The platform integrates success planning, career planning, college planning, and family engagement tools in one easy-to-use solution that can be configured based on the needs of students and support staff.  Since Naviance provides the framework for every student to have an individual success plan, it is uniquely qualified to support school and District requirements and align with Nebraska State Department of Education mandates.

Jodi Kauffman and Erica Jenkins
Alcott Elementary
Brain Games:  A Winning Strategy for Cognitive and Social Development, $940
Grant funds will be used to purchase board games that build cognitive and social skills.  As students use these game boards, teachers play a critical role as they coach students to use social and cognitive tactics and teach students to observe their peers using social and cognitive tactics.  In the process, students learn cognitive skills and social competences.  Pre-tests and post-tests measure student growth.

Becki Kulwicki, Dana Odom, and Mary Mohlman 
Lincoln Elementary

The Baking Bunch, $830
Students enrolled in this project (grades 3 through 5) will have the opportunity to attend a cooking class twice a month.  Food prepared in the class will be sent home with the students or donated to the Back Pack Program.  Students will learn to make lists of food items and supplies, budget and make wise shopping choices, prepare food, learn about nutrition, learn about food safety in the kitchen, and learn to clean up after cooking session—all valuable life skills.

Dr. Susan Lindblad and Tracia Ferguson
Lincoln and Longfellow Elementary Schools
Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders, $900
This grant will provide funding for two individuals to attend a symposium in Kansas City.  This symposium will provide research-based strategies and information that can directly benefit students who are struggling with behavioral concerns, as well as benefit classmates by deceasing the frequency and intensity of disrupted classroom time.  The primary benefit to the participants will be to learn to help identify, evaluate, and assess students with behavior disorders, decrease the frequency and intensity of the undesired behaviors, replace undesired behaviors with positive and proactive behaviors, and improve academic performance.
Connie Murray
Alcott, Longfellow, and Morton Elementary Schools
Traveling Bags, $1,000
This grant will enable the purchase of Travel Bags to be loaned out to elementary teachers.  Each bag contains items that pertain to a specific country outside of the United States.  The items include books, posters, plays, crafts, passports, videos, bulleting boards, history lessons, maps, and games—all the supplies necessary for a classroom to engage in learning about a different country.  As the bags are loaned out to various teachers, the Staff Idea Grant has the potential to impact five hundred or more students in 2015.

Amber Schultz and Minta Gregory
Longfellow Elementary and Hawthorne Elementary
Books for Behavior, $1,000
The goal of this pilot project is to shift how teachers reinforce and reshape the behavior choices of students.  Currently one of the most common means of motivating students to make positive behavior choices is to reward them with a “tangible”—in this case, the “tangible” will be a book which the student may take home.  “Books for Behavior” will be a first step in helping students and families to build their home libraries with high interest reading material at levels that are accessible for BOTH students and parents who may have large vocabulary deficits due to generational poverty and a learned dislike of the difficult task of reading.  Beyond the behavioral incentive, this highly innovative program may have the benefit of providing academic and vocabulary enrichment.
Cathy Callan 
Hawthorne Elementary
Preschool Rocker Chairs, $620
Grant Funds will make possible the purchase of six specially designed Rocker Chairs for preschoolers.  The Rocker Chairs are small enough that students can sit safely in them with their feet touching the floor.  In addition, the chair bottoms allow for slight rocking motion, which is advantageous since young children often learn best through movement. 

Lauren Trimble and Staci Stunkel 
Longfellow Elementary, Alcott Elementary, and Hastings Middle School
NAEA National Convention, $2,000
This grant will allow for Lauren and Staci to travel to the 2015 National Art Educator Association Convention held in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The convention will offer over 1,000 art education based learning workshops and sessions.  In addition, discounted instructional resources and materials will be offered which are not available elsewhere.
Faye Friesen 
Hastings High School
Flipped Classroom Package, $730
Making classroom demonstrations, lectures and activities available to students outside of the traditional classroom expands learning into the homes of students in our District.  This grant will provide a 32 gig iPod (used as a video camera) and a SWIVL robotic platform, which acts as a cameraman, which will follow a teacher during classroom demonstrations or lectures.  Faye Friesen plans to help teachers throughout the Hastings High School building to learn to set up this equipment, use it, and upload videos to their webpages.  Students who are absent from class or who want to review can access the lectures and demonstrations from their school-provided laptops.  This package will be used across disciplines to enhance the current curriculum.

Kathy Carlin and Kylee Greisen
​Hawthorne Elementary & Hastings Middle School
Attend the Music Teachers Convention National Association National Convention ($2,000)

Kim Creech and Jill Choyeski
Lincoln, Alcott, Longfellow, Morton, and Hawthorne Elementary Schools
Camp Invention Tuition ($1,000)

Jan Herbek
Morton Elementary
Reshaping Misconceptions: Earth, Moon, and Sun ($322)

Charleen Himmelberg
Morton Elementary
"HEAR" to Learn ($1,000)

Rebecca Hoobler
​Longfellow Elementary
Enhancing Social/Character Skills in the Preschool Classroom ($359)

Jeff Janda and Kristen Janda
​Hastings Middle School
Attend Annual Conference for Middle Level Education ($2,000)

Kelsey Keever 
Morton Elementary
Mini iPads for Mini Hands ($1,000)

Tom Michalek
Morton Elementary
D.R.U.M: Discipline, Respect and Unity through Music ($984)

Adam Skrdla
Hastings High School
Infinite Classroom ($540)

Robin Stroot
Hawthorne Elementary
Involve Me and I Will Learn ($300)

Leisa Zalman
Morton Elementary
Redcat Classroom Sound Amplification System ($950)

Kenda Chamberlin, Amanda Zeisler, and Monica Munter
​Longfellow Elementary
Enhancing Literacy Instruction Through Technology ($1,000)

Carla Hedstrom
Hastings High School
Knitting with Madame DeFarge ($185)

Jodi Kauffman
Alcott Elementary
iLearn with iPad ($1,000)

Charleen Himmelberg and Robin Stroot
Hawthorne Elementary
Perseverance and Persistence! (Developing Students' Stamina to Reach Their Academic Goals--The Sew So Club) ($250)

Ronda Loetterle
Hawthorne Elementary
First Grade Classroom Ball Chairs ($675)

Jade Reeves
Morton Elementary
Interactive Classroom Through the Use of Mimio ($750)

Michele Kimle, Marj Little, Steph Jacobson, and Kylee Greisen
​Hastings Middle School
Red Bull, Twitter, and Moving out of the Dinosaur Ages! ($350)

Denise Koch and Mindy Breckner
​Lincoln Elementary
Conquering Poverty ($1,000)

Rick Matticks
Hastings High and Hastings Middle School Music Departments
The French Connection, Artists in Residence ($1,000)

Ann Mays and Greg Mays
Hastings High School
Facilitating Participation in State and Regional History Day ($300)

Mary Seiler
Hastings Middle School
Smart ALEKS: Technology Intervention for Struggling Math Students ($1,000)

Katie Shepard
Hastings High School
Authentic Engagement and Effective Learning Via Online Resources/Innovative Technology ($1,000)

Laura Zabloudil
Alcott Elementary
Exploring Nebraska History Through Literature ($772)

Karen Portwood and Julie Parker
Watson Elementary and Hawthorne Elementary
Fostering Literacy Independence and Increasing Academic Accountability ($610)


Jayson Stoddard, Deanna Dirks, Mike Trindle, and Beth Kohmetscher
​Hastings Middle School
Hastings Middle School Garden: raised-bed ($973.44)

Kim Remmers
Hawthorne Elementary
Expanding Differentiated Instruction ($996.38)

Leslee Wischmeier
Watson Elementary
Now "NATS" What I Call Science ($542)

Erika Jenkins
Alcott Elementary
iPads=I Can, I Will, Because My Education Matters! ($1,000)

Amy Swayze and Pam Davis
HPS Community Liaisons
Project Dress Up ($1,000+)

Jan Herbek
Morton Elementary
Classroom Amplification System ($716)

Lynne Kaiser and Jim Kaiser
​Instrumental Music, Alcott Elementary School as a Pilot Program
Rotating Violin Lab ($945)

Ann Mays and Greg Mays
​Hastings High School
National History Day: Opening the Experience to All Students ($300)

Faye Friesen and Kim Vogt
Media Specialists, Hastings High School and Hastings Middle School
Media Specialists as Educational Technology Teachers

Karen Harvey-Holmes
Morton Elementary
Morton Elementary Career Fair ($1,000)


Nancy Oerter
​Hawthorne Elementary
iTouch Up My Learning ($1,000)

Lauren Henry
Morton Elementary
Differentiation of the Working With Words Block With Use of the Leapster Learning Center ($955)

Cathy Davis and Nikki Gengenbach
Hastings High School
E-readers for Non-Readers ($1,000)

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