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LISD Education Foundation awards $39,221.10 in grants

  • Article Image Alt Text
    Summer Beck
  • Article Image Alt Text
    Sean Smith
  • Article Image Alt Text
    Ashley Smart
  • Article Image Alt Text
    Sarah Hughes and Karen Slack
  • Article Image Alt Text
    Julie Pruett, Ashley Smith, Rebecca Hill
  • Article Image Alt Text
    Katelyn McCreight
  • Article Image Alt Text
    Kristi McCarty
  • Article Image Alt Text
    Marijo Hergemueller
  • Article Image Alt Text
    Sarah Clarke
  • Article Image Alt Text
    Angela Brooks
  • Article Image Alt Text
    Brian Beck

LIBERTY — Thanks to the Liberty ISD Education Foundation, educators and students will again benefit from innovative teaching opportunities.

This year, the foundation awarded 14 grants totaling $39,221.10 to offer exciting new learning opportunities to students across Liberty ISD.

“The Liberty ISD Education Foundation is excited to announce the grant recipients for 2024. We received a lot of great applications from wonderful teachers,” said Brandon Davis, president of the LISD Education Foundation Board.

The Education Foundation raises grant funding through individual donors, businesses, corporations, community service organizations, and fundraising events. To date, they have raised $360,273.93 through their efforts.

“Liberty ISD is blessed to have the support of a wonderful community that has always helped with donations to the LISD Education Foundation. These donations make grants like these possible,” Davis said.

This year’s winners included four Liberty High School educators, four at Liberty Middle School, and five at Liberty Elementary School.


Sean Smith - Marching Band 2.0 - $1,259.98

This project will help outfit the Mighty Panther Band with a current state-of-the-art drill teaching supplement to maximize efficiency in rehearsal and provide a better experience for students of various learning styles.

This grant is funded in part by The CW and Aggie Castle Family Endowment and the Mildred Arnold Endowment.

Sarah Hughes - Let’s Connect: Exploring Science through Real-time time Data Collection $3,286.70

The general consensus about collecting and using data among high school science students is that it is BORING! This notion is no longer true when Vernier’s Go Direct Bluetooth sensors are used. Students will be engaged with data collection in their chemistry, physics, forensic, and environmental science classes. With these tools, students can explore the world around them scientifically—without the hindrance of wired connections.

The Jeffrey Family Innovative Teaching Grant funds this grant.

Karen Slack - Embracing Tech. to Bring Everyone Together $9279.93

This grant features a wide lens projector with expanded technical functions for a large space for more encompassing and inclusive audiences. The purpose is to expand the audience of all extra-curricular and academic programs throughout LISD.

This grant was funded in part by The Dawn Fourtiq Grant and the Ellison Miles Grant.

Sarah Hughes - That’s GENE-ius! DNA Exploration - $7,759.05

This project will allow real-time DNA analysis using state-of-the-art equipment, including PCR and Gel Electrophoresis systems. It will also provide labs demonstrating how DNA analysis is useful in every field of science, including biology, AP biology, forensic science, health science and environmental science.

The Baxter Willis Dunagan, Sr. Endowment, The Liberty County Farm Bureau Endowment, The JoAnn McGuire Endowment, and the M.J. Joe Leonard Endowment partly funded this grant.


Sarah Clarke - Engineering with Sphero BOLT - $3,436.25

Inspired by Rodney Brooks’ belief that hands- on experience is key to understanding robotics, our project offers students a dynamic opportunity to delve into the interdisciplinary world of robotics engineering. Every nine weeks, a fresh cohort of students embarks on an exciting journey exploring various engineering fields. Sphero BOLT + Code Mat kit features 15 robots, Maze Tape rolls, Activity cards, and a coding mat that empowers students to explore robotic engineering authentically through coding and programming.

This grant is funded in part by The Norman and Brenda Dykes Endowment, The Dr. Reese and Sara Brown Endowment, and The Dr. Frank S. Griffin Grant.

Ashley Smart - Baristas in Training - $829.98

Baristas in Training is a whole group, hands- on, project- based, and individualized approach to developing academic, communication, social, and job skills through a coffee shoppe cart operation.

This grant funded by The Liberty Lions Club Grant.

Kirsti McCarty - BrickLab STEM Foundations - $1,194.75

BrickLAB STEM Foundations is an innovative and comprehensive educational product designed to ignite a passion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in learners of all ages. This unique set combines the timeless appeal of building with bricks alongside a cutting- edge STEM curriculum to create an engaging and immersive learning experience. Imagine being able to build with blocks and learn at the same time!

This grant is funded in part by The C.A. (Abe) Miles Endowment and The JoBeth Willoughby Teaching Grant Angela Brooks - Art Legacy Mosaic - $1,195.67 Art classes using individual ceramic tiles will paint a mosaic as a collaborative class project to be hung as a permanent work of art at Liberty Middle School.

The Nora Miles Endowment and The Vara Martin Daniel Innovative Teaching Grant for the Fine Arts fund this grant.

Malissa Phillips - Unlocking the Power of Number Sense - $1,293.75

Have you ever encountered an individual or come across a video where someone possesses an uncanny ability to effortlessly perform complex mental calculations? In certain cases, they may indeed possess exceptional intelligence, but more often, their proficiency stems from having acquired mental math techniques that simplify the calculation of certain mathematical problems. Our objective is to equip our Math & Science Team students with this remarkable skill, enabling them to enhance their competitiveness in the State competition.

The Dahlia McManus Endowment funds this grant.


Julie Pruett, Ashley Smith, Rebecca Hill - To Book Club and Beyond - $1,050.38

Our project is an after- school book club for 4th and 5th graders. James and the Giant Peach and Wonder are the two books to be read and discussed. Each semester will end with the movie presentation of the book.

This grant is funded by The Bruce and Tina Blake Endowment.

Sommer Beck - Sensory Bubble Tube for Special Edu. Students $250.00

This super- active bubble tube will meet the needs of so many of my special education students. This relaxing tube will not only calm them, but also lift their mood while at school. This bubble tube will also benefit students with sensory processing disorders and help decrease meltdowns.

The M.J. Ripkowski Grant funded this grant.

Katelyn McCreight - Reading Pens for Students: Special Education - $5,694.00

“Scanning Pens” are pens that scan text and read aloud to students who have reading disabilities, and they reduce frustrations of learning in the Special Education Resource classroom.

This grant is partly funded by The Bill Griffin Sr Endowment, The Jana Marie Buchanan Grant, The First Liberty Bank Endowment and The Rick Mearns Grant.

Marijo Hergemueller - Math Club - $997.91

Math Club will be an exciting after-school program that will help foster students’ love of math. As a group, we will discover how math is used in everyday life situations using a quite different approach based on the TEKS guide to our projects.

This Grant is funded by The Laura Jane Hartel Endowment.

Brian Beck - PE: Strength & Conditioning Fun w/ Parachutes $2,066.55

Engaging students using parachutes in P.E. We will create a fun environment so students can learn about the benefits of cardiovascular health and muscular strength and conditioning.

This Grant is funded in part by The Ken Berry Endowment.