HeART of Teaching winners

The Dallas Education Foundation, the nonprofit philanthropic partner of Dallas ISD, has announced the recipients of its HeART of Teaching Discretionary Grant Awards Cycle. The foundation received grant applications from dozens of teachers at campuses across the district and named 35 awardees to receive nearly $127,000 in funding.

Proposals included projects that spanned the spectrum of the arts in Dallas ISD, including visual, performing, theatrical, and musical arts.

“The importance of the arts in education cannot be overstated,” said Scott Rudes, Dallas ISD’s executive director of Academic Enrichment and Support. “We’re grateful to the Dallas Education Foundation for recognizing the arts, for their continued focus on elevating our teachers, and for funding these amazing projects.”

Serving on the HeART of Teaching grants review committee were Rudes; Amy Hofland, senior director, Crow Museum of Asian Art of the University of Texas at Dallas; Charles Santos, executive director and artistic director, TITUS; Dallas Education Foundation board members Theresa Flores, Drex Owusu, and Jennifer Scripps; and Brian Nguyen and Emily Davis of Dallas ISD’s Human Capital Management.

“What an incredible review committee we had for our first-ever discretionary grants cycle!” said Mita Havlick, executive director of the Dallas Education Foundation. “The team’s diverse backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives led to productive conversation and debate. We are honored to have served alongside each of them so we may collectively advance equity and learning through the arts.

“We know how committed our educators in Dallas ISD are to their students,” Havlick continued. “Providing innovative teaching grants provides our teachers with opportunities for them to creatively explore how to further engage and support their scholars.”

The 2023 Dallas Education Foundation HeART of Teaching grant recipients are:

  • Lorenzo McCoy, Seagoville MS, A Practical Approach to Arts Integration
  • Rachel Woods, Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, Addressing Equity and Diversity in Texas Orchestras
  • Michael Keeton, E.D. Walker MS, AI in Arts Exploration
  • Vonceia Hill, Margaret B. Henderson ES, Art and Vocabulary Acquisition, a School-Wide Vocabulary Initiative
  • Claudia Ramirez, Leslie Stemmons ES, Art Show Displays
  • Kathy Nguyen, North Dallas HS, BioArt: Bringing Science to Life with Augmented Reality
  • Lesya White, North Dallas HS, BioArt: Integrating Art and Science for a Sustainable Future
  • Pamela Bradford, Birdie Alexander ES, Book Buddies ‘R Us
  • Alexandria Saulnier, Edward Titche ES, Caldecott in our He(Art)
  • Theresa Anderson, Hillcrest HS, Celebrating Culture in our Community
  • Rachel Rogerson, W.W. Samuell HS, Culturally Responsive Community Art
  • Whitley Green, Hulcy STEAM MS, Dance & Tech: The Dancing Camera
  • Philomena Jones, SS Conner ES, Dragons Love Pie
  • Karleen Hesselbacher, Hillcrest HS, Equilibrium: Bridging Humans and Nature Through Art
  • Chris Drews, Leslie A. Stemmons ES, Equitable World Drumming
  • Patricia Sifuentes, Annie Webb Blanton ES, Exploring the world through art!
  • Robert Lewis, James Madison HS, Exposing Opportunities through Music and the Arts
  • Diana Trevino, Benjamin Franklin MS, Falcon Mariachi Group
  • Dawna Duke, T.C. Marsh Preparatory Academy, From Art to STEM to Entrepreneurship at T.C. Marsh Prep
  • Arlene Esparza, Martha T. Reilly ES, Herstory 101: Documenting the untold stories and contributions of women in the City of Dallas through photography and oral interviews
  • Emma Akimoto, Skyline HS, Japanese Calligraphy in Sumi Ink
  • Mackie Bailey, Eduardo Mata Montessori School, Literacy through Musical Theater
  • Blake Mokate, Skyline HS, Live Audio Production
  • Sophie Nah, Skyline HS, Multiple projects – “My Korean Friend – Story Book,” “My World Travel Journal,” and “Let’s Celebrate Holiday”
  • Jessica Laureano, Nathan Adams ES, Partnership with Dallas Children’s Theater
  • Jorge Porras, Leslie A. Stemmons ES, Passport to the world through the lens of arts
  • Natalia Morodo, Richard Lagow ES, Promoting literacy and equity through musical theater
  • Delanna Sanders and Tammye McWilliams, Richard Lagow ES, Rap Project
  • Brady Stebleton, Irma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, Sewing Machines for Costume Design
  • Martin Mejia-Rodriguez, Rosie M. Collins Sorrells School of Education and Social Services, Signs Preceding the end of the World – Dia de los Muertos Alters
  • Juan Moreno, Prestonwood Montessori, The Power of Making: Investing in a Makerspace with Advanced Tools for Student Innovation and Learning
  • Beth Poquette Drews, L.V. Stockard MS, Valuable Music
  • Deidra Ballard-Moore, L.G. Pinkston HS, What’s the Stitch?
  • Caitlin Schmidt, Woodrow Wilson HS, Who Runs the World: Under-represented artists and composers
  • Karen Wood, W.W. Samuell HS, W.W. Samuell High School Arts & Literary Journal
  • Vaughn Belcher, Bryan Adams HS, You Are Enough!

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