Dearborn Co. Retired Teachers Foundation Names Educator Grant Recipients

The grants will support 10 teachers at Dearborn County schools.

Back Row: E. G. McLaughlin, representing CIVISTA and the Betty McLaughlin Endowment; Nancy Lillie, DCRTF Member, Dr. Andrew Jackson, Superintendent of the Sunman-Dearborn School Corporation; Jim Stock, DCRTF Member; Jim Pierce, Knights of Columbus; Karl Galey, Superintendent of the Lawrenceburg School Corporation; Eric Low, Superintendent of the South Dearborn School Corporation. Front: Mallory Hummer, Award Winner; Stephanie Schomber, Award Winner; Cristin Dietz, Award Winner; Heather Lunsford, Award Winner; Jennifer Fischer, Award Winner; Christelle Middendorf, DCRTF Member; Jamie Herbert, Principal at Greendale Middle School; Shirley Bockock, DCRTF Member; Carol Bray, Award Winner; Jennifer Tucker, Award Winner; Melissa Weismiller, Award Winner; Karen Sue Harrill, School Nurse at Sunman Dearborn; Stacey Palmer, School Nurse at Lawrenceburg; Jessica Peak, School Nurse at South Dearborn, Cary Graham, St. Elizabeth-Dearborn; Betty Bourquein, DCRTF Director. Photo by Dearborn County Retired Teachers Foundation, Inc.

(Dearborn County, Ind.) - Ten teachers at Dearborn County schools have received generous grants from the Dearborn County Retired Teacher Foundation.

The foundation was able to award seven grants with the help of the Betty McLaughlin Endowment, CIVISTA Bank, Huff Realty, Knights of Columbus, and Maxwell Construction.

The grants will support teacher at Greendale Middle School, East Central Middle School, South Dearborn High School, Sunman Elementary School, St. Lawrence School, and East Central High School.

A full list of grant recipients is listed below.

Applications for grants are available to any teacher or administrator at Dearborn County schools and are available at the start of the second semester. For more information, visit

The Dearborn County Retired Teachers Foundation has also expanded its giving to support school nurses in Lawrenceburg, South Dearborn, and Sunman-Dearborn schools.

Originally intending to give each corporation $500 for the school nurses, St. Elizabeth-Dearborn Hospital and Valley Utilities stepped up to give each corporation an additional $500.

The funding will be used to purchase needed items such as clothing and toiletries.


Educator Grant Recipients

Jennifer Fischer and Carol Bray, teachers at Greendale Middle School, requested a replacement picnic table for student use. The table would be used for tutoring in the fresh air and provide a change of scenery for classroom-bound students. This project was made possible by Maxwell Construction who said that as they were completing some renovations at the school, they would also provide the table.

Hayley Miller, East Central Middle School, requested funds for her Laugh and Learn program.The Laugh and Learn Curriculum will be used to teach social and emotional learning skills to students in the Calming Room who have emotional disabilities and/or autism spectrum disorder. The curriculum offers reading comprehension tests which can be used cross curricular. Huff Realty graciously funded this project.

Justin D. Selmeyer, South Dearborn High School, wanted to add a keyboard to its Show Choir. Funded by CIVISTA and the Dearborn County Retired Teachers Foundation, Selmeyer was able to purchase a keyboard for use by the group to add different instrumentation and sound effects. Opening Knight has been representing Dearborn County for the past eighteen years in the competitive show choir circuit.

Heather Lunsford, Sunman Elementary School, hoped to expand the robotics club at her school. Sponsored by the Dearborn County Retired Teachers Foundation, this year and in past years, the program helps students learn to drive, program, and compete with robots. The program is especially beneficial for students who tend to have behavioral issues as it gives these students the confidence needed to “fit in.” with their team.

Melissa Weismiller, St. Lawrence School, introduced her students to Camp Read-a-Lot. Camp Read-a-Lot creates a camping atmosphere in the classroom to foster a love for reading. Second grade students pitch tents, make sit-upon, read with mini lanterns, sit around a campfire, and read, write, complete math activities and enjoy crafts and snacks. The camp is designed for the reluctant reader. This program was funded by the Knights of Columbus.

Christin Dietz, Mallory Hummer, and Stephanie Schomber, kindergarten teachers at Sunman Elementary School, planned The “Secret” Behind Reading program which was funded by the Betty McLaughlin Foundation. Secret Stories are designed to maintain the excitement of learning to read, especially for those students who are struggling or don’t seem to enjoy reading. The program encourages inventive spelling to give to give kindergarten students access to higher level sounds in phonics once they are ready for them. It is a brain-based approach that transforms phonics skills that children have to learn “secrets” they want to know. The phonics rules are accompanied by a story to help the child make a pathway to their brain to remember when to use the skills.

Jennifer Tucker, English Teacher at East Central High School wished to purchase microphones and the Mote: Fast, Friendly Voice Messaging program to give immediate feedback from the teacher to the students. This program can be used for vocabulary study, Remind Google Form Quizzes, Gmail and other forms of communication as it is integrated into Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms, Classroom, and Gmail for easy recording and playback. The Dearborn County Retired Teacher Foundation will be providing the program and ten microphones for use with the program so that the entire English department at East Central High School has access to the system.

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