The Papillion-La Vista Schools Foundation awards approximately $100,000 in grants to teachers each year. This funding allows teachers to bring their above-and-beyond ideas to life, providing new opportunities and excitement to Papillion La Vista Community Schools students. Sometimes a new idea requires additional equipment, supplies, or classroom visitors that doesn't fit in the standard school budget. Funding these great ideas is one of the best roles the Foundation plays. This fall, we were pleased to fund nearly $68,000 in grants. 

Congratulations to the Fall 2017 Teacher Grant recipients:

  • Steve Blevins, “1 to 1 DSLR Collaborative: Putting Current/Consistent Tools in All Students Hands,” to provide Papillion La Vista High School art and journalism students with industry-standard equipment for relevant learning.
  • Stacie Bender, “Becoming Human Graphing Calculators,” ensuring advanced math students at Papillion La Vista High School have the technology needed to for hands-on learning.
  • Julia Cooley, “Yoga for All,” to purchase supplies for middle school students to practice yoga, an activity that studies show improves physical and mental health.
  • Nicole Csipkes, “Beginning and Intermediate Band Instruments,” to ensure all students who want to participate in band are able to do so, regardless of the family’s financial situation.
  • Paula DeVol, “One School One Book,” to continue the popular school-wide family reading project at Prairie Queen Elementary.
  • Angie Gable, “Extension Activities for 4th Grade at Portal,” enriching small group and independent activity time with challenging activities that promote deep thinking.
  • Rebecca Hoch, “Equipment Durability and Professional Quality Enhancement,” for equipment Media Academy students need for daily production and livestreamed events.
  • Dr. Beth Maloney, “Connecting Middle School HAL Students to the Community: A Collaboration with Cooperation BEST,” for career-centered field trips that allow middle school students to learn from local business partners.
  • Renee Mead & Ann Herbener, “Jump Start for College,” funding Advanced Placement exams and Dual Enrollment scholarships for high school students needing financial assistance.
  • Jeff Nichols & Carl Lewandowski, “NJROTC Color Guard Equipment Purchase,” to purchase travel equipment for the regionally and nationally recognized combined high school color guard.
  • Jeff Nienhueser & Molly Grasso, “6th Annual Collaboration Show and Workshop: Titanic, Tragedy and Trial,” a joint production of the Monarch and Titan theatre programs.
  • Jennifer Prasch, “Makerspace for Rumsey Station,” to provide technology tools that create opportunities for Rumsey Station students to explore and integrate skills while collaborating with peers.
  • Kati Settles, “Oh the Places We Will Go! Elementary Paraprofessional Staff Development Days,” to support additional training for elementary support staff.
  • Tess Sykes, “Banking on Saving the World,” creating mini grants/loans that provide startup costs for the high school Zoo Academy’s Senior Service Learning project.
  • Shannon Tolstedt, “Developing Self-Regulation and Mindfulness for Middle School Students,” to help Papillion Middle school students control and direct their own feelings, thoughts, and actions, enabling a more successful academic day.
  • Elizabeth von Nagy, “Library Makerspace Expansion,” growing the successful creative learning space at PLHS that encourages problem solving, communication, innovation, and research.
  • Dennis Wilfong, “LC Perk,” to build capacity of La Vista Middle School’s coffee shop program, a business and learning opportunity for students with disabilities.
  • Lindsay Wilson, “Liberty Middle School Music Soars,” for competition-sized risers to enhance the music programs at Liberty Middle School.

Ms. Lindsay Wilson, music teacher at Liberty Middle School, received a grant to fund competition-sized platforms for students, enhancing their practices and performances while preparing them for music opportunities after middle school.

Mr. Dennis Wilfong and Ms.  Michele Butler will be able to make improvements to LC Perk, La Vista Middle School's coffee-based program  that serves as a learning opportunity for students with disabilities.


Mr. Shawn Blevins wrote "1 to 1 DSLR Collaborative: Putting Current/Consistent Tools in All Students' Hands" to provide PLHS graphic arts, studio art, and journalism students with digital cameras for their coursework.

Prairie Queen elementary students were excited to hear that literacy coach Ms. Paula DeVol received a grant to continue the school's One School, One Book tradition.

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