Grants totaling almost $30,000 will help teachers whose educational activities and projects surpass regular school lessons

Foundation for Educational Excellence awards 26 grants to local teachers and schools
Posted on 11/18/2020
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November 17, 2020

For Publicity, contact Lisa Carroll,  843-304-1922 or email

Foundation Awards 26 Grants to local
teachers and schools

BEAUFORT CO., S.C. – The Foundation for Educational Excellence awarded 19 Innovative Teacher Grants and 7 School Resource Grants this week to teachers across Beaufort County from 18 different schools. These grants totaling almost $30,000 were given to teachers whose educational activities and projects surpass regular school lessons.

According to Michel Claudio, Innovative Grants Chair and Foundation Board Member, “These grants represented all age levels from early childhood to high school across the district and will provide individual learning opportunities for over 5,600 Beaufort County students this year with some projects providing a longer term investment of educational experiences for years to come.”

This year’s innovative learning projects range from robotics to ukuleles to special education, music, art, science and ESOL. Teachers applying this year were very creative - thinking “virtually and outside” the classroom - with projects being funded for grants such as “Taking the Learning Outdoors” at M.C. Riley Early Childhood Center and “Virtual Learning at Its Finest” at Lady’s Island Middle School. And at Hilton Head Island High School, a grant was awarded for a lab for “Light, Color and Fiber Optics” that can be utilized for many years to benefit students.

Lisa Carroll, Foundation Board Chair stated that “the Foundation is especially thrilled to aid teachers during this year of educational challenges in projects that go beyond typical classroom budgets.  We are thankful for the organizations and individuals that help provide the monies for these grants and grateful for the teachers who have the passion to educate for substantial success.”

The grant recipients for Fall 2020 are listed below:  




Light Color and Fiber Optics

Hilton Head Island High School

Robert Stine

enVisioning Innovative Intervention

Hilton Head Island Elementary School – IB

Denise Bell

Welcome to the Steam Lab

Mossy Oaks Elementary School

Amanda Freeman

Uke Can Do It!

River Ridge Academy

Megan Baldwin

Career Lab

Bluffton High School

Joseph Williams

Building Character Through Literature

Hilton Head Island Middle School

Irma Elizabeth Rameizl

Taking the Learning Outdoors

M.C. Riley Early Childhood Center

Kathy Wipper

Botley 2.0 the Coding Robot

Red Cedar Elementary School

Rebecca Himes & Beth Simpson

A.I. and Robotics in the Classroom

Hilton Head Island High School

Tarken Best

Little Hands need Big Help

Beaufort Elementary School

Tracy Campbell

Once On This Island

Whale Branch ECHS

Skylah Sturgis

Taking ELLs to Greater Heights with Rocketbook!

Mossy Oaks Elementary, Whale Branch Middle School, Whale Branch Elementary, Davis Elementary

LaToi Smith

Virtual Learning at Its Finest

Lady’s Island Middle School

Christine Warner

Postcards from Life – Watercolor Artwork

Robert Smalls IA

Melissa Rosen

The Good, the Bad, and the Gross

Bluffton Middle School

Heidi McAllister

Butterfly Garden

Joseph Shanklin Elementary

Ashley Lane

Sustainable Classroom Farm Stand

Hilton Head Island Middle School

Kelley Duffy

Ingenious and Revolutionary Science Technology in the Classroom

Hilton Head Island Middle School

Jennifer Nakamoto and Allison Bullock

Closing the Language Gap for Learning – Language Translator

Bluffton High School

Michelle Gordon

Beat It Rhythmic Movement

Hilton Head Island SCA

Matt Bauman and Melinda Bray

Active Academics: Movement Breaks for Better Brains

Whale Branch Elementary

Anna McSweeney & Willard Smith

Global Understanding: It’s a Small World

Robert Smalls IA

Peggy Dumler

Foundational Words: A Pathway to Learning

Hilton Head Island SCA

Melinda Bray and Brynna Palmieri

Animated US History for ESOL

May River High School

Julie Collins

Connecting with Students Through Virtual Learning

M.C. Riley Elementary

Jill Exley

The Deskless Classroom

May River High School

Claudia Llambias


The Foundation for Educational Excellence raises funds to support the mission and goals of Beaufort County School District by furthering student instructional activities and projects through Innovative Teacher Grants, Innovative School Resource Grants and Student Enrichment Grants. Additionally, each spring the Foundation names a Peggy May Inspiration Award Honoree. In the fall of each school year, the Foundation for Educational Excellence, gives the Dr. Wayne Carbiener “Above & Beyond” Award annually to the District Teacher of the Year to further inspire the recipient’s work in the classroom. Established in 2007, the Foundation awarded its first grants in 2009 and has awarded almost $300,000 in grants to the teachers and students in the public school system since its inception benefitting thousands of students across the county each year.

Grants are applied for and awarded once a year. Projects are chosen on their merit by board members of the Foundation. Innovative Teacher Grants are for learning experiences above and beyond the normal classroom like science projects, arts performances, and robotic materials and provide unique learning opportunities that are not funded through traditional budgets. Innovative School Resource Grants are for innovative instructional school-wide projects. These grants help spark the imaginations of students to create a life-long interest in learning.

The Foundation is also supported by these local charities: The Bargain Box of Hilton Head, Friends of Callawassie Island, Italian-American Club of Hilton Head, Moss Creek Charitable Fund and Women In Philanthropy. We are grateful for their ongoing support of our work.

The Foundation is a fund of the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry and a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible as allowed by law and can be made at

For information, contact the Foundation at   843-304-1922,