Haddonfield Educational Trust issues 6K in grants to district teachers

Middle school art project intended to provoke thought, leave lasting impression.

In late January, the Haddonfield Educational Trust awarded more than $6K in grant money to seven district educators for various projects. Presentation of the award was made at the Board of Education’s Jan. 30 public session. Pictured from left: BOE President Adam Sangillo, HET board members Lisa Wolschina and Wendy Conover, HET President Adam Puff, Superintendent Larry Mussoline (back right). Photo credit: Adam Puff/Special to the Sun.

The Haddonfield Educational Trust (HET) donates a portion of its funds each year to support Teacher Venture Grants. 

Teachers from the school district are required to complete a grant application and submit it to the HET board, where it is reviewed and cross-checked with the school district’s administrative team. Grants are then awarded. Venture Grants are for projects and activities that support, supplement or enhance the curriculum but do not rewrite the curriculum. 

Once a year, the Haddonfield Educational Trust has the privilege to extend teacher grants to our town’s hardworking teachers. We endeavor to grant as many as possible and this year we were able to help seven teachers out, one in each school in town with more than $6,000 granted for their projects,” HET President Adam Puff said. 

On Jan. 27, seven district educators were notified that their HET grant applications had been approved. These educators received a combined total of nearly $6,200 in grant money that will be used for various projects in the coming months, according to HET. 

Haddonfield Middle School art teachers Erika Gehringer and Tracy Steele are planning to create a special evolving memorial, titled “Uniting Haddonfield Against Racism and Violence,” with seventh-graders addressing their concerns about each subject.  

The HET partnered with the Haddonfield Outdoor Sculpture Trust (HOST) to make the above artistic endeavor a more permanent fixture in town, hopefully becoming something every successive seventh-grade class can add to and make theirs. 

HOST Chairman Stuart Harting revealed the current plan for the installation will revolve around a type of obelisk, where words and thoughts of the class will be displayed in two-inch letters around its form. These notions are intended to wrap around the obelisk in a spiral pattern, from bottom to top, over a period of 20 or 30 years. 

“The Sculpture Trust will provide the bulk of the funds and materials for this project. Without HET’s impetus to provide funds, it would not be as far along as it is,” Harting said. “Who knows? In 30 years we may not be talking about racism or violence as it is now, or not at all.”

Elizabeth Haddon Elementary teacher Debbie Landry is expected to use her grant toward a Gifted and Talented Book Shelf to provide educational alternatives to gifted learners at Haddon, Central and Tatem elementary schools.

Haddonfield Memorial High School English teacher Holly Maiese’s grant will help toward the creation of “In the Life of a Teen a Book of Vignettes.” Students at HMHS will interview deaf and blind students in Florida and create a vignette that addresses their fears, concerns, hopes, goals for the present and future.

Haddon Elementary third-grade teacher Debbie Adams has an idea for Wobble Stools which are intended to create flexible seating in the classroom that supports active learning for elementary-level learners.

HMS sixth-grade science teacher Courtney Baker and sixth-grade math teacher Lauren Pasanek plan to purchase microphones to use for their Enhance Student Voice Project, which aims to improve students’ communication skills.

The Haddonfield Education Trust is a nonprofit public charity dedicated to enhancing the educational excellence of Haddonfield Public Schools. As a nonprofit, separate from the Haddonfield Board of Education, the HET manages certain scholarship funds and other investments for the BOE. 

In addition, the HET solicits and receives gifts, grants and other donations that are used to benefit the Haddonfield Public Schools and its faculty and students. For more information, visit www.haddonfieldeducationaltrust.org/