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Education Foundation Highlights High-Tech Gear

Foundation Members See High-Tech Gear

Published: 11:24 AM, 09/29/2009

 


Source: The Greeneville Sun

They Visit 3 Classes At Greeneville High Where 'Virtual' Has Become A Reality

BY TOM YANCEY

STAFF WRITER

Members of the Greeneville City Schools Educational Foundation saw first-hand on Monday high-tech equipment that had been acquired with some of the funds they have raised.

After a reception at which Dr. Don Henard and former school board member John Snyder were honored for their contributions, Foundation members were shown three GHS classrooms.

In one classroom real-time, interactive distance-learning was taking place; at another, Junior Air Force ROTC cadets used computers to learn to fly airplanes; and in another classroom freshman students were taught the basics of computerized engineering design.

All three projects were direct beneficiaries of contributions from the Foundation, said Beverly Miller, the city school system's technology coordinator.

Miller said Shirley Snyder, the late Mr. Snyder's widow, called her a few months ago and said she wanted to make a monetary donation in John's memory, and asked for her help in steering the money in the right direction.

"I remember smiling as she talked because I immediately thought of how proud and happy John would be if we used that money for our new pre-engineering program called "Project Lead the Way," Miller said.

At the time, Miller said, "we were struggling" in trying to find money for the needed software.

PROJECT LEAD THE WAY

In the pre-engineering classroom, teacher David Pauley, who has a masters degree in technology education, used software called Auto-Desk Inventor, to teach introduction to engineering design.

In that class, freshmen are given tools that work very much like state-of-the-art computerized drafting and design programs.

Pauley said students are shown how to use the software through projects that have deadlines like real-world projects.

This is the first semester that the class has been offered, but Pauley said the 19 students now in the class seem to be enjoying it so much that they don't realize how hard they are working.

Just like in business and industry, "continuous assignments don't stop," he said.

Pauley said he has started the class by teaching communications technology, showing students how to work with a teammate who may not necessarily be seated beside them, and may be on another coast, or another continent.

After his last 15-minute "class" for the Foundation members, several of them came back to ask questions and lingered more than 30 minutes, as Pauley continued showing elements of the class until Miller had to ask him to stop. Even then, many stayed to ask him more questions.

Robert Snyder said that he frequently has to use similar technology in his work in quality assurance in Greenville, S.C.

Miller said Dana Snyder, of Shelby, N.C., told her he was sure that what is being taught is exactly the kind of thing that his father would have wanted.

'VIRTUAL FIELD TRIP'

In another classroom, elementary students, most of them only six years old, were taken on a "virtual field trip" to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Ontario, Canada, in a "virtual classroom" made possible by money raised by Dr. Henard. A plaque in his honor will be placed there.

The classroom features two very large flat-screen monitors that Miller said have been used for virtual field trips to the Great Barrier Reef, where students were able to talk to a marine biologist on camera, under water there.

On Monday, the students were asked questions by name by a teacher in Canada, and could in turn answer and ask her questions.

The first-grade students also showed that they are being taught how to use "Flip" video cameras and make educational use of the text feature on their own personal cell phones.

FLIGHT SIMULATORS

In yet another classroom, Air Force Lt. Col. Galen Kirchmeier and Master Sgt. Lynn Durden, and Jr. ROTC cadets, demonstrated proficiency on computerized flight simulators.

Durden explained that after students master the Microsoft Flight Simulator, they can qualify for flights in a real aircraft.

The flight simulator allows students to dial up the Greeneville Airport, and follow a flight scenario given to them by instructors.

Mastering the simulator is challenging, Durden said, but it prepares the students for actual flights under the instruction of Lt. Col. Bill Powley of Sullivan South High School, using funds provided by the Educational Foundation. He said Powley is a former F-16 pilot.

On the ground and in the classroom, Durden explained that the flight simulation computers are linked together so that would-be pilots can fly with a "wingman," or, alternatively, fight each other.

Durden said funds provided by the Education Foundation "helped us upgrade computers so they could run the interactive software."


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Education Foundation Honors Henard, Snyder

 

Education Foundation Honors Henard, Snyder

Sun Photo by Tom Yancey


Bob Leonard, at left, president of the Greeneville City Schools Educational Foundation, speaks to a gathering of foundation members to honor contributions by Dr. Don Henard and John Snyder to information technology efforts in the system. Seated on the front row, from far left to right, are: Jean Henard, widow of Dr. Henard; her sister, Johnnie Pierce; Dana Snyder and Robert Snyder, sons of John Snyder; Shirley Snyder, his widow; Carolyn Root, his daugther, and her husband, Bryan Root. Another son, Larry Snyder, could not be present.

Published: 11:24 AM, 09/29/2009

 


Source: The Greeneville Sun

Their Efforts Cited As Being Crucial To System's Success With Technology

BY TOM YANCEY

STAFF WRITER

Dr. Don Henard and John Snyder, two deceased local educational leaders, were honored Monday by the Greeneville City Schools Education Foundation for their contributions to innovative information technology.

A reception and program in the Greeneville High School courtyard was followed by presentations of technology that donations from the foundation helped the school system acquire.

Bob Leonard, president of the Foundation's board of trustees, said the foundation, chartered as a 501(c)3 non-profit community-based organization, seeks private-sector donations.

He said such donations will be used "to assist in providing new, cutting edge programs, equipment, and facilities for the teachers and students of the Greeneville City School System."

Leonard also noted that many of those present had participated in raising and providing funds for the Foundation's first five-year project to "jump start" technology programs. Leonard thanked them.

The second initiative was launched under the direction of Dr. Henard and Snyder, Leonard said.

He said one of the things that makes Greeneville a successful community is the "willingness of citizens to volunteer and step forward and make a difference."

Dr. Henard, who grew up in Greeneville, returned here in 2001 after a successful practice as an orthopedic surgeon in Memphis.

Upon returning, he became active in Asbury United Methodist Church, became chairman of the Greene County Partnership, and at the time of his death was chairman of the Greeneville-Greene County Airport Authority, a trustee of Tusculum College, a Niswonger Foundation board member, a trustee of Laughlin Memorial Hospital, and a leader of the Education Foundation.

Leonard presented a plaque to Jean Henard, Dr. Henard's widow, and noted that a duplicate would be placed in the remote-learning "virtual classroom" at GHS.

JOHN SNYDER HONORED

Greeneville Director of Schools Dr. Lyle Ailshie said John Snyder joined the Education Foundation in 2000 after serving five years on the city school board.

Ailshie said that although he did not work with Snyder while he was on the school board, as a foundation member, Snyder "became a friend immediately" and frequently contributed ideas for the rest of his life.

He said Snyder frequently asked him to have lunch and always had ideas he wanted to share.

Ailshie asked the audience if it had not been their experience of knowing some people who left others feeling better just for spending time with them. "He was one of those people," Ailshie said. "He knew the importance of relationships."

He said that, although Snyder was only on the school board for five years, through the foundation, "he left a lasting impact" on the Greeneville school system.

Beverly Miller, the system's technology coordinator, told the group that the groundwork for the Greeneville system receiving the Dr. Sylvia Charp Award from the International Society for Technology in Education began in 1995 with the formation of the Greeneville City Schools Education Foundation.

At the time, she said, state, local and federal funds were not enough to implement an information technology (IT) program "that measured up."

However, because of the Educational Foundation's efforts since then, she said, the system was able to "showcase and celebrate" some great uses of technology in the classroom.

Coming from industry to education, Miller said, "I quickly realized that providing IT tools and support to a team of educators and students was very different from doing the same for a group of engineers and accountants."

With Snyder, Miller said, she felt a connection even before learning he was a chemical engineer, and "from that meeting forward, he became a powerful professional mentor to me."


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Education Foundation Defines Role In Burley Stadium Upgrade

Greeneville City Schools Foundation Defines Role

Published: 9:40 AM, 07/25/2008

Last updated: 9:45 AM, 07/25/2008

 


Source: The Greeneville Sun

The Greeneville City Schools Foundation has issued a statement clarifying its role in the current work being done to replace natural turf with artificial turf at Greeneville High School's Burley Stadium.

The turf replacement project is one of a number of steps designed to improve the stadium facilities in various ways, thereby completing the GHS renovation and expansion project begun more than seven years ago.

The statement by GCS Foundation President and Executive Director Allison Adams explains that the artificial turf project is not being financed from the funds of the Foundation itself.

Instead, she says, the Foundation is willingly serving as a channel through which various private individuals interested in improving the stadium -- including Scott M. Niswonger, Kent Bewley, and others -- are themselves financing the work through restricted tax-deductible contributions.

Text Of Statement

This is the full text of the Foundation statement:

"Since its inception more than 11 years ago, the Greeneville City Schools Foundation has received private and corporate donations that have provided a gamut of support for the Greeneville City School System.

"Using grant money and contributions from the community, the Foundation has helped to support the annual system-wide science fair, purchased equipment such as specially-designed student chairs for the choral department, and assisted with various scholarship programs.

"The largest continuing system-wide project has been to assist in providing the latest in classroom software and technology to the classroom environment.

"The Foundation also provides a number of annual educator grants that our system's teachers have used to purchase a variety of learning tools for their classroom or launch innovative learning programs that enhance their curriculum.

"One of the primary functions of the Foundation is to serve as a financial conduit.

"Money donated from the private and corporate sectors of the community for the expressed purpose of supporting the school system, flows through the Foundation to the school system as a tax-deductible donation.

"We have many people who have donated money to the Foundation to be used at its discretion to support the school system. However, some of the donations that come to the Foundation are restricted funds.

"In other words, the donor has specified that their contribution be used toward one particular project or purchase.

"The improvements currently being made to the Greeneville High School football stadium is a perfect example of a project funded through the Foundation using restricted donations.

"We were thrilled when a group of private citizens approached the Foundation and expressed their desire to provide the funding for Greeneville High School's stadium improvements, which in this first phase includes the installation of artificial turf on the playing field.

"The Foundation is able to accept the donations from this group, which have been restricted by the donor to use toward the stadium improvement project, and apply them accordingly.

"Greeneville businessman and philanthropist Scott Niswonger launched the stadium improvement project with a generous lead gift.

"Greenevillians Kent Bewley (Bewley Properties), Dick Williams (Plateau Insurance, Knoxville), and Dale Keasling (Home Federal Bank, Knoxville), are three members of a group spearheading the fundraising effort for GHS stadium improvement project.

"The Foundation is very thankful to Mr. Niswonger for his generosity and his ongoing involvement as an advocate for the Greeneville City School System.

"Mr. Bewley, Mr. Williams, and Mr. Keasling are former GHS football players who are pleased to have the opportunity to give back to a school system and an athletic program that has meant so much to them.

"I have had the opportunity to hear these men speak passionately about the important role that the GHS football program played in their lives.

"The Foundation is grateful that these gentlemen are willing to make personal contributions, as well as rally others in the private and corporate sector who share their passion and who have the strong desire to see improvements made in the GHS stadium.

"The stadium improvements will provide a multipurpose artificial-turf playing field that will ultimately serve to benefit the school's soccer and band programs.

"Additionally, these stadium improvements begin the last phase of the Greeneville High School facility renovation that started nearly eight years ago.

"The Foundation is not funding any of the GHS stadium improvements from its own reserves. That is simply not possible.

"However, we are the agency through which restricted donations are being funneled.

"We have always been and will always be grateful to people who have been moved to donate money to the Foundation for the purpose of supporting the Greeneville City School System.

"The goal of the Foundation is to be recognized as an independent organization whose passion is supporting the students, teachers and programs of the Greeneville City School System.

"The Greeneville City Schools Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which was established by a dedicated group of private citizens for the purpose of providing support to the Greeneville City School System.

"Twenty-six members of the Greeneville community sit on the Foundation's board of trustees, which serves to guide the course of the Foundation.

"For more information about the Greeneville City Schools Foundation, please contact Allison Adams at 423-823-0001, or via e-mail at allison.adams@gcschools.net."

 


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A Perpective On The FOCUS Grant

Education Foundation - A perspective on the FOCUS Grant

For many years the Education Foundation has offered an annual springtime grant program called the American Education Week - Teacher Grant.  Since it began, the AEW Teacher Grant has funded over $40,000 worth of educational projects and programs in the Greeneville City School System.   

In 2009, the Education Foundation recognized the need to provide the teachers of the Greeneville City School System with a grant initiative that was available year-round, and would serve to fund relatively inexpensive classroom programs or projects that promised a broad impact.   

In the fall of 2009 the Education Foundation agreed to pledge $2,500 annually to a new grant initiative, and in so doing launched the FOCUS Grant

The FOCUS Grant initiative aims to provide funding (when other sources are not available) for educational projects or program opportunities that arise anytime during the school year. Typically these projects and programs are not too costly ($500 or less), but if funded would provide an enriching classroom experience.  

Already this school year (2010-2011) the Education Foundation has funded six FOCUS Grants, totaling over $1,800.  This year's FOCUS Grant recipients are:

Andrea Tolley - GMS, Laura Lenker - GMS, Sarah Chapman - GMS,

Amanda Weems - GHS, Janet Ricker - GHS, Crystal Dugger - GHS.

The Education Foundation has been so impressed with the response to the FOCUS Grant initiative it has decided to increase its annual pledge to this program! 

The Education Foundation looks forward to learning about your great ideas, and exploring the opportunity to help fund them.  Please visit the GCS Education Foundation web site directly (http://www.gcseducationfoundation.net/), or select the GCS Education Foundation link on the Greeneville City Schools main web page, and read more about the FOCUS Grant and the American Education Week - Teacher Grant programs. 

Please contact Allison Adams (823-0001 or allison.adams@gcschools.net) if you have any questions about the Education Foundation or its grant programs.

 


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