HCSD Awards First Innovative Classroom Grants

HCSD Awards First Darrell Saucier Innovative Classroom Grants

(HARRISON COUNTY, MS) A Harrison County man’s generosity will help teachers turn their innovative classroom ideas into reality. On Monday, the Harrison County School District announced the first recipients of the Darrell Saucier Innovative Classroom Grant.

District leaders awarded ten $1,000 grants to Harrison County School District teachers and assistant teachers to fund original projects that help stimulate learning among students. The special grant presentation took place during the Harrison County School Board meeting.

Congratulations to these following educators:

  • Kelcie Montgomery
    Algebra Teacher - D’Iberville High School --
    Jump, Stop, Take the Time to Plot: Linear Fit Project. Students will collect data and use the Chromebooks to plot the data in Desmos, an online resource which will be used on the Algebra I state assessment.

Kelcie Montgomery

  • Ginny Christensen
    Certified teacher - Harrison Central High School --
    History’s Schoolhouse Rocks 2019.  High school students will produce a 25-30-minute play for elementary students based upon major historical figures from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Once the play is complete, the high school theatre students will travel to the various elementary schools to perform the play.

Ginny Christensen

  • Cody Eadie
    Certified teacher - Harrison Central High School –
    AP Capstone. AP Capstone is a program that is intended to increase student achievement in the field of real-world research and prepare students for Senior Capstone projects in college. This grant will provide equipment to extend and improve the quality of the final projects for students. Students who pass the end of the year exam will receive college credit, as well as an AP Capstone Diploma.

  Cody Eadie

  • Bryan VonderBrugge
    Theatre Teacher - Harrison Central High School --
    The Black Box Project. This project is to create a hands-on teaching and learning space that will serve as both an innovative theatre classroom, and a performance space by converting an ordinary classroom into a “Black Box” theatre.

 Bryan VonderBrugge    

  • Morgin Monti
    Special Education Teacher – Harrison County Child Development Center -- Learn to Play, Play to Learn. This project is to enhance the current Learning Library to provide students with center-based and a more hands-on approach to learning.

 Morgin Monti

  • Neloise Payton
    Teacher Assistant – River Oaks Elementary School –
    Interactive Science Project.  This project will allow second grade students to participate in interactive experiments through Science projects and participate in a Life Science field trip at the Institute of Marine Mammal Studies. 

Neloise Payton 

  • Angela Sievers
    3rd Grade Teacher – River Oaks Elementary School --
    We’re not “Squid”ing Around About Math and Science. This project will allow 3rd graders to bring real world applications into the classroom while bridging math and science together. The students will perform a hands-on science experiment that gives a real-life glimpse into the internal and external features of the squid, while also performing a math task to compare their specimen.

 Angela Sievers

  • Bethany Seal
    English Teacher – West Harrison High School --
    Demonstrating Mastery of English 2 Standards Through Interesting Informational Texts. The goal of this project is to change the negative perception of reading through various high-interest informational texts. 

Bethany Seal

  • Brandy Jones
    Special Education Teacher - West Wortham Elementary/Middle School --
    Science Projects for Proficiency. Science for Success is a plan to motivate, engage, and develop ownership of efforts among third graders who are at risk of passing the 3rd Grade Reading Gate Assessment. Students showing growth in their weekly progress monitoring will have the opportunity to participate in science experiments on Fridays.

 Brandy Jones

  • Susan Kenna
    3rd Grade Teacher – West Wortham Elementary/Middle School --
    Mindful Moments. This project is a research-based approach to helping children develop healthy practices with lifelong benefits through the incorporation of meditation and yoga.

 Susan Kenna

The Darrell Saucier Innovative Classroom Grant was established in June of 2019 to ensure outstanding Harrison County School District teachers and teacher assistants have access to funds to help engage students for many years to come. These awards were made possible by Mr. Darrell Saucier, who passed away earlier this year and named the Harrison County School District as the beneficiary of his savings account. Mr. Saucier’s gift of $642,884.84 was the largest donation in HCSD’s 63-year history.

Along with the Innovative Classroom Grants, HCSD is using Mr. Saucier’s large donation to support new and future teachers. This past August, HCSD awarded $250 grants to 36 first-time teachers in the district. Plus, up to ten $1,000 scholarships will be awarded annually to Harrison County School District seniors and graduating juniors who are majoring in education.

By supporting educators and their creative classroom curriculum, the Harrison County School District is honoring the legacy of Mr. Saucier, who had a reverence for education and a strong belief in community service.