2022 Ellison Education Grant Recipients

Kimberly Brandner – Connell Elementary – North Franklin School District

Project Title: “Tactile Exploration”
The second-grade team at Connell will focus on “math fact fluency” this fall. Due to Covid, students are suffering from extreme learning gaps. This requires math remediation for more students than ever before. In response, they’ll purchase the OSMO learning curriculum which provides tailored learning experiences for each student.

Chad Butorac – Northport High School – Northport School District

Project Title: “Advanced Placement for Small School"
Northport High School will introduce a much more rigorous advanced placement science program for its students. Northport does not have access to science materials and equipment larger districts take for granted. Northport will purchase physics and chemistry supplies and the appropriate equipment to enhance what they’re already using.

Rachel Collier – Pine Tree Elementary – Kent School District

Project Title: “Neural Education for Educators”
Pine Tree has a diverse group of students with diverse academic needs. Select teachers will become “neural diverse certified” to impact the social emotional needs of students. Five teachers will attend “Basic Neural Education” training this summer. “Basic Neural Education” empowers teachers to help students understand how their brain functions in learning and social environments.

Kris Daratha – Riverside High School – Riverside School District

Project Title: “21st Century Skills in a Rural Classroom”
Kris teaches both science and leadership classes at Riverside High School. He wants to close the “access gap” between his students and those in larger districts by introducing “virtual reality” into the classroom and school. Riverside will purchase virtual reality devices to be used alongside new curriculum beginning in the fall. In addition, he’ll train other teachers on the equipment to enhance their own classrooms.

Jennifer Dotts – Loon Lake Elementary – Loon Lake School District

Project Title: “Promote Reading Equality”
Jennifer is the reading interventionist at Loon Lake elementary. To create a “multi-tiered system of support” and promote higher achievement, Loon Lake will purchase I-pads and reading applications focusing on the “science of reading” (or multi-sensory approach) for K-2 students. In addition, the kindergarten team will participate in “science of reading” professional development to prepare for the fall.

Kara Dykstra – Thompson Elementary – Grandview School District

Project Title: “STEM Station”
Students entering kindergarten have had limited academic opportunities to interact with each other due to Covid. Many kindergarten students struggle with anxiety and frustration while in the classroom. Thompson Elementary will introduce in classroom “STEM centers” to create more opportunities. The hope is to create greater cooperation between students and a change in their social and emotional wellbeing.

Alexis Emerson – Roosevelt Elementary – Yakima School District

Project Title: “Breakfast Bites and Books”
Roosevelt Elementary School will expand its “Breakfast Bites and Books” programs from 3 to 10 classrooms in 2022. The program is designed to build trust with families as well as increase positive student behavior and academic performance. “Breakfast and Bites and Books” provides a monthly continental breakfast for parents in their student’s classroom. Along with food, parents connect with their child’s teacher and other families. During these times parents are given books to take home and read with their student.

Maria Gonzales – Cascade Elementary – Eastmont School District

Project Title: “Systemic Foundation”
Maria is a multilingual specialist working with ELL students primarily with kindergarten and 1st grade students. Many ELL students lack background knowledge to connect new learnings in school. Maria will introduce “systems thinking” to empower students with a strong, scientific foundation when new concepts are presented. Her hope is to empower students to meet all academic challenges in positive and systematic ways.

Jenna Harding – Moses Lake High School – Moses Lake School District

Project Title: “Science Support for all Students”
The science department is in desperate need of resources to better serve their large student population. Lab kits will be purchased to help students get a better grasp on the current scientific concepts. The kits will also allow struggling students a greater ability to keep up with peers. The “kits” provide a much more efficient way to make up assignments.

Ellie Lashman – Kittitas Secondary School – Kittitas School District

Project Title: ”DNA Research Upgrade”
Kittitas Secondary School is challenged by outdated science equipment. The current biology book was published in 2006 and does not address changes that have taken place the last 16 years. As a result, Ellie has created her own updated curriculum to address these shortcomings. To help bridge the academic gap of her students, Kittitas Secondary School will purchase updated science equipment. Part of the equipment will allow students “hands-on” learning opportunities with a focus on DNA technology.

Stephanie Llanes – Fryelands Elementary – Monroe School District

Project Title: ”LLI Gold Materials”
The pandemic has increased the number of 4th & 5th grade students struggling to read at grade level. Three years ago, Fryelands Elementary implemented “Leveled Literary Intervention” materials for grades K-3. Because of Covid and subsequent learning loss Freylands will implement LLI curriculum for those who continue to struggle in higher grades. Freylands will purchase new “age-appropriate” materials for students.

Dan Myers – Orchard Middle School – Wenatchee School District

Project Title: ”6th Grade Computer Science”
Orchard Middle School will introduce computer science to 6th graders in 2022 – 2023. “Computer Science for Innovators and Makers” will be taught through “Project Lead the Way”. By providing a rigorous foundational science course earlier, more students will be exposed to STEM and experience challenging, rewarding learning opportunities.

Kayla Portrey – Westwood Middle School – Cheney School District

Project Title: “Hands on Equations”
The math team of Westwood Middle School would like to strengthen their Tier 1 math instruction when teaching expressions and equations for grades 6 through 8. To do this, teachers will take part in “Hands on Equations” professional development. “Hands On” is meant to improve instruction practices and teach them how to integrate regular curriculum to support those struggling with mathematic equations.

Courtney Reynolds – Brewster Elementary – Brewster School District

Project Title: “K-5 Reading Remediation”
Courtney is the special education lead at Brewster. Brewster Elementary will purchase the “Read Well” curriculum for grades K- 3. “Read Well” is a research based comprehensive reading and language arts solution helping teachers effectively target the needs of each student. The acquisition of “Read Well” will allow K-3 teachers to use the same framework in serving students in need.

Karlye Risdon – Peshastin-Dryden Elementary – Cascade School District

Project Title: “Outdoor Learning”
Peshastin- Dryden Elementary is one of a handful of schools in Washington State who started “T-K”programs. “Transitional kindergarten” students at Peshastin-Dryden start their formal education at four years old. Karlye has put a high priority on outdoor learning for her students and as a result will purchase supplies to make outdoor learning even more impactful.

Amy Sherburn – Ollala Elementary – South Kitsap School District

Project Title: “LETRS Training”
Amy is the reading interventionist at Olalla Elementary and has taught for 21 years. She will lead a group of teachers and interventionists to become trained in the “LETRS” science of reading strategy. 10 teachers will begin taking units of instruction to provide effective structured literacy.