Nearly $20,000 in classroom grants distributed by Schools Foundation for 2017/18 School Year

Thirteen teachers received in-person notifications that their classroom grant requests are being funded by the South Whidbey Schools Foundation. Three Foundation Board members paid surprise classroom visits to relay the good news to teachers and disburse $19,962 in grants.

“The requests included specialized science kits for soil erosion experiments, resources for expanding the High School farm program, funding off-island trips of cultural significance for South Whidbey Academy students, a mobile planetarium visit to enable fourth-graders to study the moon and stars, special attachments for graphing calculators to enable Algebra students to work collectively on problems, improvements to the choir and dance practice classroom, new books and media for the High School library, robotics kits, and more,” said South Whidbey Schools Foundation President Chris Gibson.

“The great news is we still have funds available for additional requests and will be encouraging district educators to contact us for off-cycle grant funding,” Gibson added.

One project, 5th grade teacher John LaVassar’s popular “Salmon in the Classroom” program, was adopted for a second year by the Holmes Harbor Rod and Gun Club’s Safety and Education Fund.

“This is a good fit for our Club’s values, and we hope to make this an ongoing relationship,” said Steve Mooney of the HHR&G Club, who presented a check to LaVassar on Nov. 1 at the South Whidbey campus.

So far the Foundation has provided more than $245,000 in classroom grants with monies raised through its Dine Out For SW Schools program, a Spring fundraiser, and an end of year donation campaign.


Since its inception in 1994, the Schools Foundation has funded more than $245,000 in teacher-requested projects and materials to enhance educational excellence, projects which the school district is unable to fund due to tight budgets.

If you are a South Whidbey School District educator and wish to be considered for an off-cycle grant application for 2017/18, download the application here.


If you are the recipient of a 2017/18 SWSF classroom grant, please be aware that final reports are due May 12. You may download the report PDF here.

Grant-Final-Report-May 2017

If you are interested in learning about our new Adopt-A-Grant program, CLICK HERE.


2016/2017 South Whidbey Schools Foundation Funded Classroom Grants

Sharla Matthews Sound & Light SWES 1st $1,169 $1,169
Bruce Callahan Whale Watching Boat Adventure SWES 5th $1,500 $1,500
Monique Mangin Sensory Light Board SWHS 9-12 $500 $500
John LaVassar Mr. Good, Mad, Fun Science SWES 5th $1,400 $1,400
John LaVassar School-Wide Salmon Project SWES 5th $1,200 $1,200
Chris Harshman Band Clinicians LMS 6-8 $2,500 $500 $2,000
Mandy Jones Sensory Water Table SWHS 9-12 $1,500 $1,500
Jeff Greene Musical/Drama SWHS 9-12 $1,500 $1,500
Jeff Greene Yearbook/Photo Journalism SWHS 9-12 $1,050 $1,050
Kathryn O’Brien Climate Arts Project All Schools K-12 $2,800 $2,500
Michele Zisette Focused Space for All SWES 1st $439 $439
Jean Cravy Bringing Learning to Life SWA 5-6 $2,000 $2,000
Nels Bergquist 8th Grade Adventure Education LMS 8th $10,000 $3,000
Don Zisette 8th Grade Inventions LMS 8th $790 $790
Chris Harshman Link-up – Orchestra Rocks All Schools 5-12 $3,000 $3,000
Valerie Brown MakerSpace STEM Kits 2016 SWES K-5 $750 $750
$32,098 $19,448 $5,350

In addition, these off-cycle grants have been added and are available for our adopt-a-grant program for a total funding of $27,048:

1) “Ukuleles in the Classroom”  $150 to purchase four ukuleles, by Debra Davies Vogel, first grade.  This project seeks to integrate “Ukuleles in the Classroom” strategies and lessons to enhance students’ attention, engagement, enjoyment, learning, and retention of knowledge and skills.

2) “Music (Ukuleles) in the Classroom to Increase Attention, Engagement and Learning, $300 to purchase 8 ukuleles, by Tere Baker, SWES Special Education and General Ed K-4.This project seeks to integrate “Ukeles in the Classroom” strategies and lessons to enhance students’ attention, engagement, enjoyment, learning, and retention of knowledge and skills, and to provide an additional tool for dealing with challenging behaviors & self-regulation issues by helping interrupt building frustrations, helping re-set after escalated episodes, and providing a positive reinforcement tool with students with whom it may be helpful.

3) “Healthy Eating in Different Cultures  $800 to pay for speakers and ingredients for the program, by Susan Milan, seventh grade. In the ‘Healthy Eating in Different Cultures’ project, presenters from a variety of countries will visit the Health and Wellness class to share what healthy eating looks and tastes like in their culture. In the 2016-17 school year, presenters from Japan, Russia and Lebanon have shared their cultures in 10 classes. This grant secures funding to continue this program in the 2017-18 school year.

4) “Guitars in the Classroom- Music integration training for teachers K-12”  $2,700 for two phases of guitar lessons for educators seeking to integrate the “Guitars/Ukuleles in the Classroom” curriculum into their classes.This project starts in June 2017, by providing additional training for those educators that have already taken the beginner program, at a cost of $1000.  The second phases will occur in September 2017, when the beginner course for the curriculum will be offered to all South Whidbey School District educators, at a cost of $1700.

2015/16 Classroom Grants

Caitlin Jones Rites of Passage Group SWA/SWHS 9-10 $400 0.00 $400
Rachelle Bennett Access to Sno-Isle Library/Kindle Fires Purchase SWHS 9-12 $1,200 1,173.75 $26.25
Susan Milan STEM Field Studies and Fair LMS 7th $1,500 1,500.00 $0.00
Teresa Baker Evidence-Based Intervention & Emotional/Behavior Management SWES K-3 $961 1,044.35 -$83.35
Michele Zisette Sit for Success SWES 4th $353 353.00 $0.00
Chris Harshman Marimba Project Completion SWHS 9-12 $1,000 1,000.00 $0.00
Jonathan Watkins South Whidbey Underwater Robotics Class SWA/SWHS 6-12 $1,500 931.46 $568.54
Pam Muncey Class Hand-Made Afghan Project SWES 5th $149 150.19 -$1.19
Greg Ballog Atomic Modeling SWHS 9-12 $265 235.25 $29.75
Jeff Greene Sound Recording Studio LMS/SWHS 5-12 $1,550 1,355.95 $194.05
Don Zisette Exploring Watershed Science LMS 8th $600 652.50 -$52.50
Jean Cravy STEM Class Physical Science Set SWA 6-8 $523 522.47 $0.53
David Pfeiffer A Splash of Red: Book-It Repertory Field Trip Workshops SWA/SWES K-5 $1,065 1,057.94 $7.06
Jennifer Gandarias Redesigning Professionalism:  Constructing Education SWHS 9-12 $901 916.34 -$15.34
John LaVassar Explore:  Matter and Its Interactions SWES 5th $1,320 1,320.00 $0.00
John LaVassar Salmon in the Classroom SWES K-5 $1,500 1,500.00 $0.00
John LaVassar Salmon Run: Art/Sewing/Writing Project SWES 5th $100 100.00 $0.00
Greg Ballog Understanding Carbon Middle School & High School LMS/SWHS 7 & 10 $2,628 2,610.30 $17.70
Kathryn O’Brien Aquaponics Classroom Prototype & Aeroponic Chamber SWHS 9-12 $1,200 1,200.01 -$0.01
Valerie Brown MakerSpace STEM Kits SWA/SWES K-5 $1,200 1,161.17 $38.83
Pam Muncey Bringing Learning to Life – Serving at SW State Park All 3-12 $2,400 2,400.00 $0.00
Valerie Twomey Learning with Legos:  Engineering, Programming & Robotics SWES 2nd $3,082 2,424.40 $657.60
Caryn Ploof Can You See the Leader in Me? SWES 4-5 $564 613.07 -$49.07
Mary Bakeman 7th Grade Outdoor Learning Expedition LMS 7th $1,500 1,500.00 $0.00
Betsy Gmerek Expressionism & Principles of Design-Action Art SWA 6-12 $260 260.00 $0.00
Bruce Callahan Whale Watching Boat Adventure/Langley Whale Museum SWES 5th $1,500 1,297.74 $202.26
Nick Delmedico In Residence Jazz Band and Concert Band Clinicians LMS 6-8 $2,000 2,000.00 $0.00
Jenny Campbell Global Cultures Enrichment Program LMS 6-8 $2,000 2,000.00 $0.00
860.25 -$860.25
TOTAL AMOUNTS = $33,221 32,140.14 $1,080.86


2014/15 Classroom Grants

South Whidbey Schools Foundation Teacher Grant Awards – Fall 2014 & Spring 2015

1 Jeff Cravy Buddy Bench and Friendship Garden SWES $550.00
2 Suzanne Haugen Kids in the Kitchen SWES $735.00
3 Jean Cravy SW State Park – Bringing Learning to Life Project SWA, SWES, LMS $2,500.00
4 Sandy Gilbert Robotics for 6th Graders LMS $2,800.00
5 Don Zisette STEM – Inventions and Technology LMS $800.00
6 Susan Milan LMS 7 Oceanography Program LMS $1,280.00
7 Jess Monett In-Residence Jazz Band & Concert Band Clinicians LMS $1,500.00
8 Mary Bakeman 7th Grade Outdoor Learning Expeditions LMS $1,500.00
9 Debra Davies How Does Our Garden Grow SWES $800.00
10 Timmie Sinclair/Leah Tormey South Whidbey Academy InvenTeam SWA $1,500.00
11 Timmie Sinclair SWA Underwater Robotics Program Expansion SWA $1,500.00
12 David Pfeiffer Sheep to Shawl Year Two – Goat Fiber SWA $1,500.00
13 Sue Wolf-Rottkay Multicultural Art SWA $850.00
14 John LaVassar Salmon in the Classroom SWES $1,500.00
15 Jean Cravy Recorder Karate SWA $80.00
16 Jackie Gelston Salmon Run:  Art/Sewing/Writing Project SWES $1,070.00
17 Bruce & Kathy Callahan Whale Watching Boat Adventure/Langley Whale Museum SWES $1,400.00
18 Jennifer Gandarias Redesigning Professionalism:  Constructing Education SWHS $725.00
19 Betsy Hofius New School Farm Weather Station SWES/SWA $300.00
20 John LaVassar Explore:  Matter and Its Interactions SWES $660.00
21 Michele Sakaguchi SWA Aquaponics Project SWA $1,500.00
22 Allie Fee Problem Solving/Positive Reinforcement Room SWES $300.00

2013/14 Classroom Grants

South Whidbey Schools Foundation Teacher Grant Awards – Fall 2013 & Spring 2014

  1.  Danni Curgus SWES 2nd Grade Listens and Writes to Read $325
  2.  Greg Ballog SWHS Applying Modern Genetics to Your Life $1,080
  3.  David Pfeiffer SWA Underwater Robotics Club $1,500
  4.  Craig Stelling SWES Dance Instruction: Square Dance $400
  5.  Don Wodjenski SWHS Artist in Residence (AiR) Supplies $1,000
  6.  Jeff Greene SWHS Yearbook Photo Journalism $1,418
  7.  Susan Milan LMS LMS Fresh Food for Lunch $1,500
  8.  Don Zisette LMS STEM in the Classroom $1,150
  9.  Michele Zisette SWES Early Literacy in the K-3 Special Ed. Classroom $465
10.  David Pfeiffer SWA Sheep to Shawl $1,085
11.  Craig Stelling SWES Square Dance Instruction:  Fall 2014 $925
12.  Michelle Sakaguchi All Schools SW State Parks – Bringing Learning to Life Project $2,000
13.  John LaVassar SWES Salmon in the Classroom $1,000
14.  Jess Monett LMS In-Residence Jazz Band and Concert Band Clinicians $1,500
15.  John LaVassar SWES Leadership Through Art $920
16.  John LaVassar SWES Exploring Energy and Science Photography $600
17.  Chad Felgar SWHS “Project Veg” – Supplying SW Schools Cafeterias $1,500
18.  Rachel Kizer SWES Fun and Games with Readin’, Writin’, and ‘Rithmetic $1,000
19.  Sharla Matthews SWES Amazing Artists $1,200
20.  Erik Jokinen LMS Fit Step:  Uploadable Data Pedometer Project $879
21.  Betsy Gmerek SWES Drying Rack and Clay/Kiln Resources for Art Room $404
22.  Mary Bakeman LMS 7th Grade Culminating Experience – Boat Rental $700



2012 Classroom Grants: South Whidbey Schools Foundation Teacher Grant Awards – Fall 2012 & Spring 2013

  1.  Christie Elliot SWES Artists in Action Extension $500 General
  2.  Christie Elliot SWES Read Naturally $648 General
  3.  Jess Monett LMS In-Residence Jazz Band & 6th Grade Band Clinicians $1,500 General
  4.  Susan Milan SWES Exploring Renewable Energy $1,000 General
  5.  Jeff Greene SWHS Camcorder Digital HD Cameras $1,324 General
  6.  Leslie Woods SWES Building Community from the Soil Up $1,000 General
  7.  Susan Wolf Rottkay SWA Painting and Printmaking with Intention $769 General
  8.  Sandy Gilbert LMS 6th Grade Science Survival Tools $1,000 General
  9.  Val Brown All Schools Pre-K – 12 Online Encyclopedia $2,305 General
10.  Val Brown SWHS SWHS Library Materials $150 General
11.  Val Brown LMS LMS Library Materials $150 General
12.  DeAnn Ross LMS 7th Graders Want to Know EVEN More $1,079 General
13.  DeAnn Ross LMS Probing Middle Schoolers – LMS Science Team $4,210 General
14.  Jennifer Gandarias SWHS Class Lectures and Discussions on the Go $1,301 General
15.  David Pfeiffer SWA, SWES SWA Collaborative Garden Project w/ Good Cheer $5,000 General
16.  Don Zisette LMS Maritime Studies $450 General
17.  Steve Jones SWHS Geocaching:  Finding Fitness $1,250 General
18.  Mary McLeod SWES Smart Art Cart $1,173 General
19.  Becky Breeze SWES Assistive Technology – Using Computer Books $1,500 General
 TOTAL: $26,309

South Whidbey Schools Foundation Teacher Grant Awards – November 2011:

1.   Dayle Gray SWES Leader in Me Implementation $1,000 General
2.   Christie Elliot SWES Artists in Action $755 General
3.   Mary McLeod BVHS Art with Heart $500 General
4.   Teresa Cooper/David Pfeiffer WIA Nature Adventure: A Community Based Class $575 General
5.   Don Zisette LMS Mission to Mars $575 General
6.   Kimmer Morris SWES Music Support $150 General
7.   Sue Raley SWES Synergize $290 General
8.   Charlie Davies SHWS Audio Enhanced Books on Kindle for Special Ed. $550 General (1)
9.   Lana Johnson WIA IXL Site License for Classroom $200 General
10. Robin Roberts SWES Mipad 2 $182 General (2)
11. Suzanne Haugen SWES Kindercise $700 General
12. Chris Harshman SWHS Recording Mixer for Auditorium/Music Programs $1,000 General
13. David Pfeiffer BVHS/WIA Project Based & Expeditionary Learning for Students $1,000 General
14. Charlene Ray BVHS Leadership & Mentorship:  Creating the Future $1,000 General
15. Katherine Mack SWES Collaborative Voicethread Presentations $790 General
16. Don Wodjenski SWHS Canon EOS Rebel XS 10.1 MP Digital SLR Camera $600 General
17. Susan Milan SWES Green Team $1,000 General
18. Kathy Stanley SWES Literature for Sustainability & Social Justice $500 General
19. Jeffrey Greene SWHS SWHS First Tech Challenge Robotics Club $1,000 General
20. Jeffrey Greene SWHS Digital HD Video Camcorder & Camera $1,000 General
21. Mary Eaton LMS Preserve our Projects $1,000 General
22. Steve Jones SWHS Orienteering:  Searching for Fitness $650 General
23. Jay Freundlich SWHS On-Line Language $800 General
24. Jay Freundlich SWHS Imagine Tomorrow $600 General
25. Charlie Snelling LMS Recording History of Langley $400 General
TOTAL: $16,817
(1)  Audio Enhanced Books on Kindle for Special Ed:  Additional $450 shall come from the SWSD Technology Fund
(2)  Mipad 2:  Additional $543 shall come from the SWSD Technology Fund

 Other Funded Grant Awards – November 2011

26.  DeAnn Ross LMS Inquiring 7th Graders Want to Know $1,000 PSE Grant
27. Jess Foley LMS In-Residence Jazz Band & 6th Grade Band Clinicians $1,000 LMS Band
TOTAL:      $2,000


South Whidbey Schools Foundation Teacher Grant Awards – Summer 2011:

1.   Greg Ballog SWHS DNA Fingerprint Identification $920 General
2.   Charlie Davies SWHS Kindles for Special Education $970 General
3.   Andy Davis SWHS Pre-Algebra Resources $1,000 General
4.   Chris Harshman SWHS Student Composer Project $900 General
TOTAL:     $3,790


South Whidbey Schools Foundation Teacher Grant Awards – November 2010:

1.   Danielle Curgis SWES Second Grade Speaks $119 General
2.   Jay Fruendlich LMS LMS Rain Garden $1,000 General
3.   Doug Fulton SWHS Spectral Analysis $1,000 General
4.   Dayle Gray SWES Writing and Performance for the Theater $500 General
5.   Jenny Gouchanour SWHS Enhanced Listening Comprehension in Spanish $719 General
6.   Rachel Kizer LMS Reading 2.0 $1,000 General
7.   Mary McLeod SWES Art: Hand Models $445 General
8.   Susan Milan SWES Sustainable Gardening $1,000 General
9.   Kimmer Morris SWES Music with Drums $240 General
10. Charlene Ray BVHS Rites of Passage – Part 2 $1,000 General
11. Sue Wolfe Rottkay WIA Spanish Conversation K-5 $395 General
12. Sakaguchi/Pfeiffer BVHS Bayview Sustainable Garden $1,000 General
13. Craig Stelling SWHS Dance Instruction $450 General
14. Val Twomey SWES How Toys Work $373 General
15. Don Zisette LMS/SWHS SADD Club and Traffic Safety Enhancement $630 General
TOTAL:     $9,871

Other Funded Grant Awards – November 2010:

16. Kathy Stanley SWES Exploring Solar Energy for Cooking $450 PSE Grant





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