Patch Middle School teachers win funds for innovation

By Will Griffin
DoDEA Europe Public Affairs

The DoDEA Europe East District Superintendent’s Office awarded nearly $30,000 to support innovative teaching and learning models. $mart Money was conceived as a motivational agent to allow inspired educators to further develop innovative methods and practices for teaching and learning in their classrooms.

Dr. Liz Dunham, DoDEA Europe East District Superintendent, earmarked funds to support the innovative goals of forward-thinking practitioners. The $mart Money initiative received applications from educators throughout the district to fund innovative learning projects that will positively impact the learning of students.  The projects and resources embrace the very best in creative approaches to meeting the interests and learning needs of students through a blend of innovative pedagogical approaches and 21st century resources.  Ten educators received the awards:

*       Sarah Loomis, Kaiserslautern Elementary School – Strengthening Standards of Mathematical Practice through inquiry and investigation.

*       Michael Smith & Michael Herrick, Sembach Elementary School – Maker Space robotics.

*       Diane Johnston, Aukamm Elementary School – Developing conceptual knowledge in mathematics.

*       Kelli Keedwell, Ramstein Elementary School – SMART Centers.

*       Gerri Scholdei, Patch Middle School – STEM renewable energy kits.

*       Susan Holt, Vilseck High School – Doctoring DNA.

*       Trisha McGonigle, Patch Middle School – Digital vs. compound microscopes.

*       Nancy Greer, Ramstein Elementary School – Flexible seating for kindergarten students.

*       Deb Young, Garmisch Elementary/Middle School – Green learning spaces.

*       Ken Robinson, Kaiserslautern High School – Integrated biofuel extraction system.

As a result of the funding, students across the Europe East District will benefit directly from the initiatives and Dr. Dunham is excited about the potential for both student and teacher engagement.

“The $mart Money initiative provides our educators the opportunity to innovate in a risk-free environment and engage students in a way that is new, exciting and increases the potential for student achievement,” said Dunham.

DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education programs for school-age children of Department of Defense personnel who would otherwise not have access to high-quality public education.  DoDEA schools are located in Europe, the Pacific, Western Asia, the Middle East, Cuba, the United States, Guam, and Puerto Rico. DoDEA also provides support and resources to Local Educational Agencies throughout the United States that serve children of military families.