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2012 News | College of Education

Eight recent grads receive 2012 Newcomb Grants

The Lola B. Newcomb Beginning Teacher Support Grant was made possible by a gift from the estate of Mrs. Newcomb, who attended summer school at the College of Education in the 1930s.

The Newcomb Grant provides $1,000 in professional development funds to first-year teachers in Wyoming who are graduates of UW. Grants may be used for a range of activities, including:

  • Mentoring
  • Conferences and workshops
  • Travel related to those activities
  • Substitute time to allow the recipient to participate in mentoring and professional development opportunities
  • Purchase of materials for the classroom.

Grant recipients must return to campus on a day, to share what they have learned with our students, faculty and staff. Applications for the Newcomb Grant are available each fall, through the Dean’s Office.

This year, eight recipients returned to campus to share not only how their use of the Newcomb Grant helped them build their knowledge and confidence in the classroom, but what it was like to be in that classroom as a first-year teacher. (Dean Kay Persichitte (seated, second from right) greets 2012 recipients of the 2012 Lola B. Newcomb Beginning Teacher Support Grant during their recent campus visit. Recipients are (seated, left to right) Megan Meeks, Wendy Boardman, Erica Jensen, (standing, left to right) Michael Thomas, Chyann Howard, Christine Hoskins, Travis Winger, and Jamie Snyder.)

Erica Jensen is a third grade teacher at Indian Paintbrush Elementary in Laramie. Erica used her grant to buy Jim Fay’s “Teaching with Love and Logic” and “Calming the Chaos” CDs. Her goal was to better understand how to work with difficult students and mange misbehavior in ways that are beneficial to students and everyone around them. She observed master teachers in her district to better understand how they manage their classrooms on a daily basis. She purchased additional resources, posters and books with her grant.

Chyann Howard is a first grade teacher at Douglas Primary School in Douglas. With her Newcomb Grant, Chyann attended the Steve Spangler Science in the Rockies Conference this summer, a program that shows how to combine best teaching practices with stimulating experiments for more engaging and meaningful learning experiences. She also observed expert science teachers in the district and invited them to observe her and offer feedback for enhancing the quality of classroom instruction.

Megan Meeks is a kindergarten teacher at Urie Elementary School in Urie, Wyo. Megan used her grant to purchase microphone-equipped iPods for her classroom. Having these tools in her classroom gave her many new options for engaging students in meaningful ways – for example, downloading books to create learning station for students and giving students a chance to record and evaluate their own reading efforts.

Jamie Snyder is a first grade teacher at South Side Elementary School in Worland. Jamie used her Newcomb Grant to purchase iPods and applications for those iPods. Having access to iPods reserved for her classroom has allowed her to incorporate educational applications on a daily basis during small group centers. They’ve also helped to expand her understanding of technology and its potential value in the classroom.

Wendy Boardman is a fifth grade teacher at Manderson Elementary School in Big Horn County. The Newcomb Grant allowed Wendy to purchase classroom materials to enrich student learning in reading and mathematics. It also allowed her to visit a master teacher’s classroom, where she observed strategies and teaching techniques to engage students. With the help of her mentor teacher, she also planned to design a reading and math center, with a focus on differentiated instructional activities to accommodate all students’ needs.

Christine Hoskins is a sixth grade teacher at Casper Classical Academy in Casper. Christine used funds from the Newcomb Grant to attend the Cooperative Learning Win-Win Discipline Conference in Fort Collins, Colo., last spring. This professional development event offered teacher-friendly strategies to encourage student engagement and increase time on task with academic work. Participants learned about research-driven processes for creating team-based, collaborative learning experiences.

Michael Thomas is a social studies teacher at Rock Springs High School in Rock Springs. Michael used his grant to purchase small marker boards, erasers and markers for review activities and assessments for learning. He purchased books on topics designed to help expand understanding of technology and professional learning communities. He also purchased subscriptions to Up Front Magazine, a current events publication offering multiple perspectives on contemporary issues/

Travis Winger is a mathematics teacher at Hot Springs County High School in Thermopolis. With the support of the Newcomb Grant, Travis attended the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference in Philadelphia last spring. Of special interest for Travis was attending sessions on technology integration in a mathematics classroom, as well as workshops specific to iPads in the classroom.

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