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We love it when we support a teacher grant request and then find out that the purchase turns out to help in even greater ways than were anticipated. At MCEF we believe that teachers know what they need to be more successful with more students and sometimes a fairly small investment turns out to answer not only those but also needs that weren’t even imagined at the time of the grant application. Here is a note from Mary Davis, a math teacher at Madison County High School.
Specifically, I would like to express my appreciation for the IPads purchased by the MCHS math department through a grant awarded last Spring. The availability of an IPad has made it possible for me to conduct my dual enrollment math courses online after school closure. I am able to scan all documents with it to post to Google classroom and can connect the IPad as a whiteboard into my virtual classes or into sessions during office hours when I am helping one student. It is nearly impossible to teach math, virtually or face-to-face, without working problems out step-by-step, and the IPad purchased for math teachers by Madison Education Foundation made that possible.
The Pell Public Speaking Competition
The Madison County Education Foundation hosted the Pell Public Speaking Competition on January 25 in the Madison High School Auditorium. The number of entrants—15 in all—was the largest number of student participants ever engaged in this competition.
The first-place winner, Michael Broyles, delivered Harold Ickes’s speech, “What constitutes an American?” Broyles was awarded a cash prize of $700. The second prize was awarded to Ben Butterworth, who delivered Winston Churchill’s speech, “Blood, Sweat, and Tears” and was awarded $500. Molly Thomas delivered Nellie McClung’s speech, “Should Men Vote?” She was awarded third prize of $300.
Kevin Nguyen and Eli Priest both gave strong presentations of Ronald Reagan’s “Tear Down This Wall.” Steven Franklin reprised Martin Luther King’s inspirational, “I’ve Been to the Mountain” address; the speaker was featured at the Martin Luther King Commemoration at the Culpeper NAACP.
Hailey Helm delivered stirring words of Clara Barton’s “Women’s Suffrage Speech,” and Caleb Mayer shared Theodore Roosevelt’s understanding of “Strength and Decency.” Kathy Dyer spoke on “George Washington,” and Maya Powell delivered Hillary Clinton’s “United Nations Women Plenary Session Remarks.”
Samuel Decowski gave renewed energy to Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and Hannah Gessler showed us Susan B. Anthony’s position in “Women’s Right to Suffrage.” David Miller offered an interpretation of “What Constitutes an American.”
The time-span of these speeches captured one historical landmark after another. Kaitlyn Adams gave John F. Kennedy’s “Inaugural Address” and Drake Truman delivered Richard Nixon’s “Farewell Address.
Is public speaking your thing? Have an interest in history? Combine those two and come to the Pell Public Speaking Competition! This contest is open to all MCHS students. Participants will be giving a 5-minute, memorized, historical speech. First place will be receiving $700, and second and third places receiving $500 and $300 respectively.
It’s easy to find historical speeches. Ask your librarian, Google “historical speeches,” check your history books, or Google any subject + speeches to begin your search. Baseball fan? How about Lou Gehrig’s “Good-bye to Baseball” speech? Just Google “baseball speeches.” Are you a Civil War buff? Just Google “Civil War speeches.” It’s amazing how many historical speeches there are.
If the written speech is too long, you many edit it down to five minutes as long you use the writer’s words and keep the speaker’s meaning and intention. When giving the speech, be sure to show the audience the heart-felt emotions of the writer.
Please join us on January 25th at 6:00 to watch these amazing students. Light refreshments will be provided.
For more information, please see any MCHS English teacher or call Lynn Young at 540-948-6989.
MCEF Awards 9 Scholarships to Graduating MCHS Seniors
This year the Madison County Education Foundation awarded scholarships totaling $9500 to students who will pursue their dreams. They will continue to learn. Then they will teach, farm, compute, build, write, experiment, discover, and change their part of the world.
Award winners were Sarah Catherine Coates, David Lewis Dyer, Jr., Grace Katherine Fox, Mikayla Nicole Gardiner-Alger, Sarah Elizabeth Good, Jared Christian Ross, Isiah Diamonté Smith, De’Ondre Rashaud Twyman, and Jiani Zang. Awards were presented by MCEF Board members Rachel Graves, Jayne Penn-Hollar, and Barbara Kres Beach.
Community commitment to the education of our students is nowhere more evident than at Awards Night in the Madison High School Auditorium, which celebrates the achievements of graduating seniors.
At Awards Night, 42 community organizations and individuals came together to assist our students and their families ease the burden of the Big Move from high school to two-and-four year colleges and universities, trades education, career and technology institutions, and the military.
Congratulations to all the graduates of the Class of 2017. You define Madison Pride and you make all of us very proud.
The Board of the Madison County Education Foundation
Madison High School faculty were exceptionally inventive and penetrating this year, agreed the Grants Panel of the Madison County Education Foundation (MCEF). “The applications addressed a range of needs designed to broaden the scope and depth of classroom learning and to engage all students at the high school,” observed Stephanie Mendlow, a member of the Panel. “We were very excited about them.”
Awards were presented by representatives of the MCEF Grants Panel: Clarissa Berry, Jayne Penn Hollar, and Stephanie Mendlow. They were joined by Bill Hinkes, vice president of the Foundation.
MCHS Librarian, Becky LaVoie, will extend the use of games in education. Ms. LaVoie attended a conference sponsored by the American Association of School Librarians; it focused on the use of games as instruments for learning. Teachers in her school have been working on ways to encourage students to become more active participants in learning. The games project supports SOLs, collaboration between library and classroom teachers, student teamwork, and post-game reflection.
Stephen Shilan, Mary Davis, Chelsea Taylor, and Ryan Rakow and others will work with a new program “Gizmos for Geometry,” which will enable students achieve the math credits required for their high school diploma. “Gizmos” is a web-based software program that teachers control, selecting simulations that students may log on a given day. It uses the question-and-response Socratic approach to shape student learning. The program supports Virginia SOLs for science and math in high school. The program has shown excellent results nationally and will be evaluated by Madison teachers as well.
Ashleigh Pugh and Tiffany Kitner—high school and middle school art faculty–had another challenge: they looked for ways to keep costs down, extend the use of clay so it could be re-used multiple times (purchase and shipping of clay are costly and lowering these costs makes possible the purchase and use of other art materials in the Middle and High Schools.) Because of this grant, faculty will be able to introduce students to pottery work—a new and accessible art medium for many. The MCEF grant will help teachers purchase a “pugmill” which wedges clay, reduces risk of air bubbles, saves money, and prevents wasting recyclable clay. It will be available for use throughout the Madison Schools.
Judy Heffron and Michael Gabney proposed materials that would bring a project in environmental science to life. They called it “The Answer My Friend Is Blowing in the Wind.” Part of the alternative energy unit, it will use project-based learning techniques to create an optimal output wind turbine using Vernier technology. (We read this and agreed that we all need to go back to high school for this class!) Approximately 50 students will engage in this project yearly, and will work collaboratively with their peers to experiment with gear ratios, blade designs, generators and ways to measure weightlifting and electrical power.
“Swinging into Fitness,” a proposal from Mark Arrington, extends his mission to make fitness a part of each Madison student’s life after graduation. He will introduce students to an award-winning “BirdieBall” that responds like a traditional golf ball in flight (hook, slice, draw and fade—and instant feedback from your swing are all possible). The “BirdieBall” produces an “uncanny turbine sound” according to Arrington, after a good “wack.” More important, the program teaches the lifetime sport of golf, helps develop motor skills, skill analysis, golf etiquette, and equipment care.
“These grants initiated by our excellent high school faculty,” noted Barbara Kres Beach, MCEF president, “show how students can use programs like these to reinforce students’ excitement about learning and their engagement with it. Our teachers have the keys that unlock exactly what is needed. We applaud them!”