Boardman Teachers Receive Over $36K in Grant Funds

BOARDMAN, Ohio – A news conference was held Thursday in recognition of 30 Boardman K-12 staff members who will be given the opportunity to turn their creative ideas into a reality.

The Boardman Schools Fund of Educational Excellence awarded 11 teacher grants for the 2022-23 school year, totaling more than $18,400.

Lynda Beichner, president of BSFEE, leads the organization that fundraises to equip teachers with the equipment necessary to further the educational experience that otherwise wouldn’t be possible.

Teachers who applied were able to apply for up to $1,750, Beichner said.

“The Boardman Education Association donates $2,000 annually to our grant fund, and this year we are very glad recipients of a grant from the Aimee and Lulu Seidel Foundation for $5,000,” she said. “That was able to help us increase our giving power.”

BSFEE has awarded over $100,000 in grants and projects since its launch in 2009.

Beichner has been with BSFEE for five years.

“Teachers think outside the box,” she said. “We really appreciate that their projects don’t just last for one year. They grow on one another [and] they collaborate with one another.”

Many teachers who have received grants in previous years continue to apply for grants in the following years, building off of previous projects, Beichner said.

“It gives teachers a path to do that extra thing – something that they think is going to bring value to the education of their students that they don’t have the means to do with state and local budgets funding,” she said.

Lynda Beichner, president of the Boardman Schools Fund of Educational Excellence.

Beichner said staff members were given access to the grant money starting in December, and the office of curriculum is currently processing orders as they are being brought in.

“That [decision for who gets the money] was made on a Thursday, teachers were notified the following Monday and they placed their orders,” she said.

Additional grant money was awarded through the office of instruction, totaling over $12,000, and through district funding, totaling almost $6,000. This allowed for the full funding of eight additional projects.

“I think our local businesses understand the value in organization because, first, they understand that the schools are at the center of our community, and that to invest in our students is going to pay off in the long run,” Beichner said.

Chelsea Wisbar, advisor for the BDJHS TV crew and eighth-grade art teacher at Boardman Glenwood Junior High, has been with the school for nine years. This year, she will receive up to $1,677 in grant money.

Since her students are in charge of doing the morning announcements at the school and she is also a student council advisor that works with the yearbook, Wisbar said there became a need for a better camera and lighting.

Wisbar was also able to use the green screen from a previous grant for the video room.

“I asked for a brand new camera so that the kids are actually getting the video camera that is meant for vlogging and video, rather than the camera that we had that was mainly for photography and pictures,” she said.

The grant also came with the promise of a new and improved microphone, as well.

“It gives us a step above other schools in the districts in the area, and the kids just benefit from it so much,” Wisbar said. “You just see the kids growing like crazy, and it’s heartwarming.”

Another previous grant allowed for Wisbar to get 3D printing pens, which she said allowed for a unique opportunity to offer the students lessons in engineering.

“It is really important for local businesses to support the education system because we are helping your future,” she said. “We are creating your future employers and employees.”

Scott Lenhart, eighth-grade science teacher at Boardman Glenwood Junior High School, is receiving a monticello black aluminum greenhouse for the courtyard as part of his grant request along with two other faculty members.

The grant money they were awarded totaled $4,049 and came after failed attempts to salvage the old green house on Market St., Lenhart said.

“Our goal is to grow plants, especially native plants for a lot of other projects that we are doing at school,” he said. “It’s not just growing plants. It is also about projects that it is going to help.”

Lenhart has been teaching at the school for 14 years, and while this isn’t his grant money he has received, he is very excited to have an outdoor space for students to learn in.

“I have been on the committee, as well as a teacher representative, so I see the generosity of local businesses supporting education,” he said. “It is hard as a teacher with limited funds a lot of times to provide such amazing opportunities for students.”

A brief list of some of the items that are to be purchased with the grant money for the 2022-23 school year include:

  • Materials for recycling storage shed project;
  • TV studio equipment;
  • Social/emotional projects;
  • Flexible seating for in-class libraries;
  • Monticello black 8-by-12-foot aluminum greenhouse;
  • Music program instruments;
  • Elementary student-led learning materials;
  • Heart rate monitors for physical education/special education;
  • Engineering design process tools;
  • Comprehensive English/Language Arts supplements.

Pictured at top: Grant money recipients.

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