The private organization will announce 31 grant recipients next week.
By Ginny Miller
TUPELO – Perhaps Parkway Elementary’s Adam Homan said it best.
“AEE, you helped make learning fun for all the children in the Tupelo Public Schools,” the kindergartner said. “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
The private Association for Excellence in Education has awarded $2.6 million in grants to teachers in the Tupelo Public School District since 1983. During a luncheon on Thursday at Parkway, AEE announced $135,000 will fund 31 projects during the 2009-2010 school year.
“We had 114 grants submitted this year,” AEE board member Lee Tucker said. “I think it was a record. Over $550,000 was requested within those grants. It’s disappointing that we weren’t able to fund all of them.”
Evaluating the grant applications, he said, “is an eye-opening experience, to see the ingenuity and creativity that our teachers have in the classroom.”
The large and small grant recipients are usually named at the annual luncheon, but they will not be announced until next week. Tucker did, however, acknowledge Tupelo High School math teacher Patty Hosch and art teacher Julie Mattox as recipients of AEE’s Founders Grant.
Their project, which received $2,492.80, is called ARCHES, or Architects in our Community Help Excite our Students.
“We’ve already contacted Mississippi State and they’re willing to partner with us on this,” Hosch said. “Their architecture students will work with us to build a prototype for a youth center. This was just a pie in the sky kind of thing for us.”
Also at the luncheon, Rob and Tracy Hudson of Hudson Management Corp. were honored with the J.C. Whitehead Award as corporate education advocates.
“My wife and I are honored, to say the least,” said Rob Hudson, whose wife missed the luncheon because she was mentoring a Tupelo High student. The couple also frequently volunteer at Joyner Elementary.
Also, Chuck and Trentice Imbler were given the Jack Reed Sr. Advocate for Education Award.
“Ask me how I feel about public schools in Tupelo, ’cause I’m gonna tell you,” said Trentice Imbler, a former Parent Forum officer who also served on the TPSD’s redistricting committee.
They volunteer with children for an important reason, Chuck Imbler said. “It’s about the community. It’s about the schools.”
Contact Ginny Miller at (662) 678-1582 or firstname.lastname@example.org.