Staff Idea Grant Program


STAFF IDEA GRANTS have become an important roadway for teachers to add innovative ideas and state-of-the-art technology to their classrooms. For the 2016-2017 school year, the Hastings Public Schools Foundation has awarded eleven STAFF IDEA GRANTS for a total of $9906.95. These grants immediately impact 15 teachers, many, many classrooms, and the Hastings Community. We are especially grateful to Five Points Bank of Hastings, Pinnacle Bank of Hastings, and individual donors for their generosity. Their contributions also garner a 25% match from the Kinman-Oldfield Family Trust.




Tom Michalek
Morton Elementary
Building Community Spirit Through Singing – with the Amidons $1,000
Adam Skrdla
Hastings Senior High School
Aerial Engineering $505
Kenda Chamberlain and Adeline Johnson
Longfellow Elementary
Master of Mathematics and Voracious Readers $1,998
Miranda Nanfito
Longfellow Elementary School
Cromebooks in the Classroom $1,000
Amber Schultz and Nate Story
Longfellow Elementary
Exercise and Behavior Self-Management
Giving Kids the Tools to Calm Themselves $1,000
Brenda Quinones
Longfellow Elementary
Smart ALEKS for Math $450
Cheryl Schuff
Abraham Lincoln Elementary
More to Math Core Set 1-2 $829.95
Melissa Burke
Hawthorne Elementary
Motivating Reluctant Readers by Pairing Books with Unabridged Audio Books $1,000
Becky Katzberg and Christa Ball
Alcott Elementary
Board Game Club $700
Cathy Callan and Kara Adams
Alcott Elementary (All center-based preschool classrooms located at Alcott, Head Start, 
Longfellow, Morton Watson Elementary Schools
Preschool Students Experience the Children's Museum of Central Nebraska $924
Robin Stroot
Hawthorne Elementary
4-H Beyond the Farm $500



Jalaene Choquette, Scott Engberg, Patt McConnaughhay, and Pat Vogel
Hastings Senior High
Navigating Through Your Future with Naviance, $2,000
Naviance integrates success planning, career planning, college planning, and family engagement tools to give every student an individual success plan.
Jodi Kauffman and Erica Jenkins
Alcott Elementary
Brain Games:  A Winning Strategy for Cognitive and Social Development, $940
Teaching cognitive and social skills through board games.
Becki Kulwicki, Dana Odom, and Mary Mohlman 
Lincoln Elementary

The Baking Bunch, $830
Cooking Class
Dr. Susan Lindblad and Tracia Ferguson
Lincoln and Longfellow Elementary Schools
Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders, $900
Connie Murray
Alcott, Longfellow, and Morton Elementary Schools
Traveling Bags, $1,000
Amber Schultz and Minta Gregory
Longfellow Elementary and Hawthorne Elementary
Books for Behavior, $1,000
Cathy Callan 
Hawthorne Elementary
Preschool Rocker Chairs, $620
Lauren Trimble and Staci Stunkel 
Longfellow Elementary, Alcott Elementary, and Hastings Middle School
NAEA National Convention, $2,000

Faye Friesen 
Hastings High School
Flipped Classroom Package, $730
Expanding learning into the home.


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)