The North Central Education Foundation was thrilled to increase the number of teacher classroom grants that were awarded at the 2018 Teacher Classroom Grant Award reception held in October at the Confluence Technology Center in Wenatchee. During this ninth year of teacher grant awards, over 100 teachers from four counties were presented with grant awards in the categories of literacy, STEM, STEAM, Music/ Fine Arts, College Preparation and Chelan- Douglas Land Trust Foothills. Awards for two other categories were added this year – Financial Education, thanks to our new partnership with the Young Adult Consumer Education Trust (YACET) and National Board support, thanks to donations from NCESD Board members.

We are also pleased to announce that teachers in 24 out of the 29 school districts included in the North Central ESD region received grant awards this year!

P.J. DeBenedetti, North Central Education Foundation Board member, served as MC for the award presentation and awards were presented by President Rufus Woods, Board members Joe St. Jean, P.J. DeBenedetti , Mary Jane Ross, and Kyla Allen, along with NCESD Board representative Marcia Henkle and NCESD Superintendent Michelle Price. For the second year, Okanogan County teachers were honored at a remote location via Zoom videoconference, hosted by Foundation Board members Kerrie Combs and Lois Davies. Guest speaker, Regional Teacher of the Year Matt Brown from Manson School District, participated via video and shared inspirational words of hope with the attendees.

Veronique Paquette from Kenroy Elementary in East Wenatchee, 2002 Washington State Teacher of the Year, described the teachers who received awards as teacher/leaders and challenged them to inspire other teachers in their district to lead. Teacher Classroom Grant sponsors Kyla Allen from North Cascades Bank; Luke Evans from YACET; and Rufus Woods from the Wenatchee World shared their enthusiasm for supporting the Teacher Classroom Grants.

The Foundation is working to make a difference in the future of the children in the North Central ESD region by providing teachers with opportunities to enrich their classroom environments. This is due to the generosity of the North Cascades Bank, Woods Family Music & Arts Fund, Confluence Health, Community Foundation of NCW, Chelan-Douglas Land Trust, Wenatchee Rotary, LASER Science/Pacific Science Center, Clear Risk Solutions, Young Adult Consumer Education Trust (YACET), PlanMember Services, “Art with Heart” and generous board members, ESD staff and community members who also donated to the fund.

North Central ESD Superintendent Michelle Price commented, “It has been inspirational to see the Foundation grow, in just nine short years, from awarding eight teacher grants in our region the first year, to giving out over 100 grants, including several adopted by businesses or individuals. We are fortunate to have generous new corporate sponsors with a heart for education and dedicated Foundation Board members who are passionate about the work of the Foundation.”