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Posted April 16, 2013

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Spring Horizon Awards Support 25 Innovative Projects

Nearly $75,000 was awarded to nearly 75 teachers and administrators by the APS Education Foundation to support fine arts, literacy, middle and high school activities and STEM.

Students from across the district will benefit from the nearly $75,000 awarded to nearly 75 teachers and administrators through the APS Education Foundation Horizon Awards this spring.

The money will be used to enrich instruction in fine arts, literacy, middle and high school activities and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).

Since the awards program began three years ago, about $375,000 has been infused into classrooms, libraries, performing arts centers, practice fields and labs in APS elementary, middle and high schools. Award winners get between $1,500 and $5,000 to fund projects outlined in their applications. The winning proposals were selected by members of the Foundation Board of Directors and other community members.

This time around, the money will be used for 24 projects that have students building robots, raising the social conscientiousness, learning reading strategies, working with clay, studying the water cycle, playing musical instruments for the first time and much more.

Individuals, small- and medium-sized businesses and corporations have helped fund Horizon Awards. Key supporters include the APS Employees United Way campaign, Intel, Sandia National Labs/Lockheed Martin, PNM, Don Chalmers Ford, B and D Industries, New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union, Bank of Albuquerque, Wells Fargo, RayLee Homes: A New Generation, TIG, Target, Westwind Landscape Construction, NACR and Cabot Superior Micropowders,

The 2013 spring Horizon Awards winners are

  • Valerie Kovach, Sherry Rios, Stephanie Sanchez, Cristina Lopez, Larry Martin of Atrisco Heritage Academy to enable special education high school senior students in a low socio-economic area to access technology to create resumes and cover letters, complete online required courses, and become proficient at online research and other needed skills.
  • Sally Giannini, Beverly Martinez, Sheila Hernandez, Jessica Dusseau of Bel Air ES to purchase iPads to prepare students in the first three grades to use them as effective tools in support of learning the so-called “new literacies” required by current technology.
  • Jeanne Kumpunen of Chaparral ES for a robotics-STEM project that encourages high potential students to develop expertise with sophisticated materials that will help them in future studies in science, technology, engineering and math.
  • Jennifer Ek, Anne Stevens and Jennifer Rishel of Cleveland MS to help student volunteers from the gifted program collect food via food drives in the community, promote hunger as a cause that needs attention, organize and distribute food backpacks, and partner with Roadrunner Food Bank.
  • Lila Sanchez of Comanche ES for Reading Karate, a motivational literacy tool that provides more strategies to improve students’ comprehension skills, enabling them to be successful, independent strategic readers.
  • Josephine Darling, Maria Dlinn, Leah Dolan, Wendy Morse of Corrales ES for a family literacy inclusion project that targets struggling families and students for participation in special literacy events where parents and guardians will have opportunities to experience new ways to support their students’ reading and literacy.
  • Amy Sweet and Judy Johnson of East San Jose ES for a ceramic arts program that connects the use of clay, a medium of cultural importance in New Mexico and Mexico, to the broader curriculum, enabling abstract concepts to become concrete and understandable.
  • Mike Peterson and Sam Nesbitt of Eisenhower MS for a program that supports students’ first introduction to playing an instrument, providing a positive social group, creative outlet, training in discipline, interpersonal skills, and activation of new areas of the brain to enhance overall learning.
  • Ethel Goebel, Danielle Harden, Shannon Rhoades and Jenni Young of Georgia O’Keeffe ES for an evaporation, condensation, precipitation and reclamation project that provides in-depth study of the water cycle in the fifth-grade classroom.
  • Edward Browitt and Robert Jojola of Hawthorne ES for a robotics collaborative supporting gifted students and students identified as having an aptitude in robotics and computer programming as they complete tasks like robot building, repairs, alterations, and programming challenges using Lego Mindstorms.
  • Doris Merzweiler, Brita Judd, Joan Culver, Audie Brown, Michael Neff and Deanna Stevenson of Hayes/Wilson MS for cross curricular PE units benefiting special needs middle school students by promoting literacy, communication, math, science and career readiness through lifelong physical activities.
  • Natalie Hotchkiss, Rebeca Zimmermann, Joan Ryan, Sue Triplett, Annmarie Sheahan of Highland HS for an after-school literacy project based on a successful writing and photo documentary centered upon supporting and promoting high school students’ literacy skills through their own experiences and relationships.
  • Debi Goyer, Mary Gilbertson, Mitch Quandt, Galyanee Rizek and Dana Reilly of LB Johnson MS to provide iPads and applications which are more age-appropriate and motivating for middle school students in the ISP and Emerging Autism programs, resulting in increased independent participation and attention to tasks.
  • Mary Ellen Farrelly and Miriam Martinez of Los Padillas ES to provide weekly exploration of the five-acre Wildlife Sanctuary with a natural scientist so students will develop complex vocabulary and research skills.
  • Andrew Cook and Monica Romero of Manzano HS to create a Next Gen Learner Response System including an Activexpression2 class set of clickers, a perpetual Activengage license, and a computer to run them to provide instant, customizable and universal feedback for students.
  • Tina Siefert of Montezuma MS to provide students who have a wide cultural, linguistic and socioeconomic diversity with exposure to literary experiences with non-fiction texts.
  • Nancy Leffler and Jamie Martinez of Petroglyph ES to use iPad apps that focus on specific skills to enhance technological literacy and improve academic achievement.
  • Antonio Cruzada of Reginald Chavez ES to use a program called Raz-Kids to address the educational needs of students with specific learning disabilities, primarily in the area of reading, who require specialized and multisensory instruction.
  • Edward Browitt and Travis Tester of Sandia Base ES to create a Gifted Robotics Collaborative supporting gifted students and students identified as having an aptitude in robotics and computer programming as they complete tasks like robot building, repairs, alterations, and programming challenges using Lego Mindstorms.
  • Vince Case, Sherry McCarty, Laura McGowan and Laura Hansen of Sandia Mountain Natural History Center to develop Common Core integrated project-based learning ecosystem units to increases middle school student interest in STEM-related fields, enabling students to use science-process skills like data collection and analysis to solve real-world problems through project-based learning.
  • Marion Woolam, Valerie Martinez, Joyce Olivas, Marina Rubio, Eileen Salazar of Sierra Vista ES to use excellent picture books with mathematical stories, engaging students in math lessons that introduce math concepts and problems through the storybooks.
  • Rod Daniel and Phil Perez of Taft MS to increase opportunities for music students and help them reach higher levels of success using audio-video recordings and anecdotal reports.
  • Andrea Prangley, Megan Wylie, Gail Ferris, Allison Shanahan, Jess Wiltamuth and Shellina Quillman of Volcano Vista HS to create a greenhouse that will provide work experiences for students with significant disabilities and raise money for continued access into the community.
  • Glenn Giles, Jack Tugwell and Luke Rudys of Whittier ES for a rocketry project that encourages a curriculum driven by problem-solving, discovery, exploratory learning and active engagement to find a solutions.
  • Marco Harris of Wilson MS to provide language and literacy resources that support Common Core State Standards by supplementing literacy strategies taught in the classroom and engaging students at all levels.
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