‘Innovators of the Year’ receive funds; banquet set April 28


Whitehouse ISD Education Foundation president Jim Nipp, along with other members of the foundation and school officials, surprised two teachers on Tuesday, April 3, with awards for Innovator of the Year.

“Both of the Innovator of the Year award winners found a way to maximize the impact of their creative ideas,” Nipp stated.

In addition to the grants provided by the Education Foundation in November, the two Innovators of the Year recipients received additional funds from the foundation.

The application titled EdTech More than Chromebooks was submitted by Ashley Swinney and requested funding to provide six new technology resources to teachers. An $809.92 grant was awarded to Swinney last fall for the technology.

“Mrs. Swinney’s grant idea was to buy small sets of new technology, become the subject matter expert on that technology and educate teachers throughout the district on how to best integrate that technology into their classroom,” Nipp explained. “Having this library of tech resources bundled together with someone that has taken the time to learn it, the experience to integrate it into lesson plans and the mission to teach the teacher how to maximize the benefit in their classroom is a really efficient use of the foundation’s resources.”

The second Innovator of the Year, Samantha Longino, had received a $5,000 grant for her application, “Something Smells Fishy.” Longino proposed the purchase of an aquaponics system which combines the raising of aquatic animals with the cultivation of plants in water in a symbiotic environment. The system could be used by both agricultural and culinary students. The grant suggested tomatoes, varieties of lettuce, kale, swiss chard, arugula, basil or mint could be grown with the aquaponics system.

“Mrs. Longino’s grant funded her creative idea for an aquaponics system used by the horticulture students to produce goods that can then be used by the culinary department which was truly a win-win,” Nipp commented.

These two Innovators of the Year will be honored with all grant recipients at the WISD Education Foundation banquet at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 28, at K.E. Bushman’s Celebration Center in Bullard. Information regarding tickets and sponsorship opportunities for this Celebration of Innovation: A Taste of the Town is available online at www.wisdef.org.


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