Education Foundation awards 22 teacher grants to enhance learning in District 58

education foundation teacher grants 2021

The Education Foundation of Downers Grove District 58 will fund 22 teacher grants totaling nearly $12,000 through its 2021-22 Teacher Grants Program. The Foundation annually awards grants to teachers and staff for projects that support student learning.

“The Education Foundation has awarded grants to hundreds of District 58 teachers over the years. These grants have provided teachers with the tools to enrich their instruction,” said Superintendent Dr. Kevin Russell. “On behalf of District 58, I would like to thank the Education Foundation for their continued commitment to the Teacher Grants Program. I also would like to thank and congratulate our staff for envisioning instructional enhancements and taking the initiative to apply for a grant. Finally, I would like to  thank our community for supporting the Education Foundation. By participating in events like Oktoberfest, the Harlem Wizards, the Green Apples and, new this year, the Grove Express 5K, you are providing our Education Foundation with the funds needed to allow the Teacher Grants Program to thrive.”

District 58 teachers submitted their grant applications in September, and the Foundation’s Grants Committee completed a thorough and blind review of all grant proposals. The Foundation selected projects that showed strong potential to impact instruction using innovative tools and/or techniques. Project proposals must align with the District’s curriculum goals and have measurable outcomes, among other requirements.

“Congratulations to all of this year’s teacher grant winners!” said Education Foundation Grant Coordinator Briana Richardson. “The Education Foundation was very impressed with the thought the teachers put into their grant applications, and we are thrilled to make 22 grants come to fruition!”

Congratulations to the 2021-22 Education Foundation Teacher Grant recipients:

  1. “Powerful Pens” awarded to Meghan Beard, Lester third grade teacher
  2. “Weaving on Cardboard Looms” awarded to Georgi Beck, Kingsley and Highland art teacher
  3. “Reading Across the Globe” awarded to Keri Bernhard, O’Neill ELA teacher
  4. “Highly Motivated Readers: Encouraging the Most Reluctant Readers” awarded to Alison Brechtel, Herrick eighth grade ELA teacher
  5. “Help Us Light Up Our Smartboard and Learn” awarded to Kendall Buege, Nancy Hildreth, Julia MacKerell, Kim McSherry and Michelle Sosa, Henry Puffer Grove Children’s Preschool staff
  6. “Spanish Language Texts” awarded to Georgina Cervantes, O’Neill dual language/ELL teacher
  7. “SEL Library” awarded to Caitlin Choinski, Henry Puffer social worker
  8. “Classroom Library” awarded to Matt Cunningham, Herrick eighth grade ELA teacher
  9. “Enhancing Classroom Libraries” awarded to Nicole Ferroli and Megan Winthop, O’Neill seventh grade ELA teachers
  10. “Family Math Night” awarded to Katie Hurckes, Indian Trail interventionist
  11. “Our Steps Matter” awarded to Jennifer Johnson, O’Neill science teacher
  12. “Nourish the Need for Nonfiction” awarded Mary Loversky, El Sierra teacher librarian
  13. “Books for Classroom Library” awarded to Kendra Meyers, El Sierra first grade teacher
  14. “Learning Good Solid Research Skills, PebbleGo” awarded to Joan Mommsen, Belle Aire and Henry Puffer teacher librarian
  15. “Weaving on Cardboard Looms” awarded to Elizabeth Moravec, Belle Aire and Lester art teacher
  16. “Polaroid Camera Film” awarded to Bobby Mueller, O’Neill science teacher
  17. “Science Glassware” awarded to Bobby Mueller, O’Neill science teacher
  18. “White Board Table” awarded to Natalie Notardonato, Fairmount ELL teacher
  19. “The Energy Within” awarded to Sarah Pinkus and Jennifer Johnson, O’Neill science teachers
  20. “Preschool Technology Enhancement” awarded to Alecia Probst, Grove Children’s Preschool teacher at Indian Trail
  21. “Unlocking Potential to Inspire ‘Genius’” awarded to Amber Schweigert, Henry Puffer gifted teacher
  22. “Math Tools to Build Strong Mathematicians” awarded to Mandy Zimolzak, El Sierra interventionist

For more information about the Education Foundation, please visit