The Lufkin Education Foundation awarded 25 grants worth $58,000 to teachers in Lufkin ISD Wednesday morning.

“We like to do this at the beginning of the year so they have time to purchase the things they need to purchase and implement their grant this year,” Vercie McMullen, Education Foundation executive director, said. “It’s exciting, getting together with the other board members and seeing the enthusiasm, passion and the looks on the teachers’ faces as you go into their classrooms.”

McMullen said the organization received 41 applications worth $120,000. The foundation’s team researched each application to find the 25 they could make a reality. The foundation awards thousands of dollars in grants to teachers each year to help buy classroom materials that assist in the education process.

It’s fun, loud and exciting, in part because the foundation and the school district have worked to make it fun. Cheerleaders, drumline members, administrators and school board members march into the classrooms of unsuspecting teachers and their students to surprise them with the presentations.

The patrol started at Lufkin High School with a team of science teachers: Suzy Jungmann, Vada Hughes, Ryan Cantrell, David Willis, Elizabeth Perkins and Anthony Duke. The team was awarded a $5,000 grant to bring the Spark: Igniting an Engineering Spirit to their students. The trunks will travel from kindergarten to high school as teachers check them out.

“This is an innovative tech trunk program that’s going to enhance our present curriculum, train teachers and provide equipment, supplies and state of the art technology,” Hughes said.

Three other teaching teams also received $5,000 grants for their projects.

■ $5,000 was awarded to Amy Bennett, Emily Lawrence, Veronica Bryan, Jena Rouse, Kenneth Clark, Andre Thompson and Jane Semetko at Lufkin Middle School for Frequent Flyer Miles.

■ $5,000 was awarded to Amy Bennett, Joy Johns, Susan Harris, Dyson Nickle, Brian Crumbie and Mark Kreid at Lufkin Middle School for Passport to the Past.

■ $5,000 was awarded to Aby Goff and Wyndie Shepherd at Anderson Elementary for Parkour and Obstacle Course Training is FUNctional! The two also received $1,387.20 for Put Me in, Coach! I’m Ready to Play!

■ Goff and Shirlene Mahoney received $1,433.16 for Sensory Play to Unlock a Student’s Hidden Potential.

Other grant recipients, according to a list provided by the district, are:

■ $1,484.84 awarded to Abby McCarty, Shannon McBrearty and Morgan Crain at Lufkin High School to improve and sustain their Coffee Cart FriYAY! program.

■ $3,780 awarded to Kirby Bryce and a team of Nikki Neal, Allyson Dunn and Amy Beaudion at Herty Primary for Osmo Innovators, which can be connected to iPads to help students with math, reading and science.

■ $1,478.29 awarded to Lena Nickle and Tracy Morris at Herty Primary for their Comfort with a Constant Hug program.

■ $895.94 awarded to Bryce at Herty Primary for a Listening in 2nd program that is designed to help students who haven’t yet gained the ability to read.

■ $1,720.46 awarded to Jo Martin at Brandon Elementary for Legomania in the Library.

■ $3,099 awarded to Allison Guse, Brenda Ehrlich and Tori Watson at Coston Elementary for Science: The Building Blocks of Life!

■ $1,159.80 awarded to Katherine Todd and Destiny Handy at Anderson Elementary for The Kinesthetic Classroom: Achieving Student Success through Movement.

■ $2,200 awarded to Michele Forrest and Brad Stewart at Lufkin Middle School for The Sandbox Augmented Reality.

■ $2,074.99 awarded to Susan Liles, Amanda Gentry, Deana Mastin and April Torres at Brookhollow Elementary for #StudentNewsNetwork.

■ $2,990 awarded to Angela Duncan, Mary Beth Powell, Heather Price and Carla Smith at Dunbar Primary School for Learning Alive.

■ $1,100 awarded to Tori Watson, Matty Dupree, Hallie Wallace and Carey Stewart at Coston Elementary for Breakout Classroom.

■ $1,300 awarded to Connie Burkett, Lydia McMullen and Stacey McCarty at Anderson Elementary for Breakout News! Student Broadcasting Team Shines with Latest Technology.

■ $1,100 awarded to Angela Hancock and Caroline Leslie at Burley Primary for STEMtastic Learning Fun!

■ $2,810.47 awarded to Heather Price and Jamie Mahan at Dunbar Primary for Learning to Play and Playing to Learn.

■ $1,724.83 awarded to Andrea Walker, Marilyn Kegler, Suzanne Langford and Ashley Self at Dunbar Primary for Sensation Stations.

■ $2,249 awarded to Kristian Taylor, Melinda Bowman, Aley Vardemann and Kim Kassaw at all schools pre-K through 12th grade for Giving a Voice to Every Child.

■ $1,703.23 awarded to Kayla Springfield, Amy Rhoades, Teri Watson and Jennifer Smith at Coston Elementary for Suds and Skills — A Student-Run Laundry Mat.

■ $2,166 awarded to Angela Hancock, Caroline Leslie, Tina Luna and Mabel Havard at Burley Primary for Oh the Places We Will Go...A Trip into Augmented Reality.

■ $419.24 awarded to Angela Duncan at Dunbar Primary for Set the Stage to Engage: Creative Classroom Transformations.

Presentation day was fun, but the truly rewarding part of this process will come in a few short months. That’s when foundation members will visit the grant recipients again to see what they’ve accomplished this year.

For more about the foundation, visit