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Leaders Education Foundation Awards Over $35,000 to Area Educators with LEADS Educator Grants

Leads Grant

JACKSON, Tenn. (October 20, 2023) – Leaders Education Foundation, a non-profit 501c3 awarded $35,295 to West Tennessee educators through the L.E.A.D.S. Educator Grant program. This year was the first to expand the grants beyond classroom initiatives and included grants for K-12 teacher appreciation and for educators' professional development.

The L.E.A.D.S Grant program awards grants to area educators whose initiatives empower students to Learn, Experience, Advocate, Dream, and Serve. To be eligible for these grants, educators had to be based in public and private K-12 schools, Technical Schools, University, and Colleges in West Tennessee.

“We wanted to expand our grants this year to include teacher appreciation and professional development to honor the hard work and dedication of educators in West Tennessee. All our L.E.A.D.S Educator Grants embody who we are at the core of the foundation by giving teachers the tools make students’ lives better,” Leigh Anne Bentley, president of Leaders Education Foundation said. “I'm in awe of the creativity each teacher had in the submissions we received and I'm excited to see how they use these grants to impact students."

Classroom grant recipients, which totaled to 25, were awarded $1000 and submitted a video showcasing their idea, vision, or project that was then voted on by the public on the education foundation’s Facebook page. Teacher appreciation grants of $500 were awarded to 10 schools, and Professional Development grants of various amounts were awards to six teachers.

“We believe in leading with love and showing our teachers that they are valued and appreciated. So, we will use the teacher appreciation to do just that,” Shemon Reaves, principal at Arlington Elementary School and recipient of a classroom and teacher appreciation grant, said. “The classroom grant we will be using to transform our library and teach our kids about early financial literacy. This is going to be an exciting adventure for our students and this grant will help us in doing that.”

Recipients of the L.E.A.D.S Grant include:

  • Calandra Ellison- Williamson- Liberty Tech High School
  • Carolyn Stephenson- Jackson Academic STEAM Academy
  • Charo Lovings- Isaac Lane Elementary
  • Danielle Shaw-Jones- North Side High School
  • Georg & Betsy Pingen- Union University
  • Jacob Kent- Libertas School of Memphis
  • Jake Stoffregen- South Side High School
  • Jennifer Burkhead- Denmark Elementary School
  • Jessica Joy Roberts- Libertas School of Memphis
  • Kelly Williams- Isaac Lane Elementary
  • Lauren Malecha- Chester County Middle School
  • Matt Barker- Freed Hardeman University
  • Meagan Spencer- Freed Hardeman University
  • Meagan Fertig- Elmore Park Middle School
  • Missi Hardin- Community Montessori School
  • Porsha Milan- Rutherford School
  • Rachel Taylor- Elmore Park Middle School
  • Robin Ferguson- Denmark Elementary School
  • Sarah Hubbard- Elmore Park Middle School
  • Shannon Davis- Alexander Elementary School
  • Sharon Clark- Sunny Hill Intermediate School
  • Shereka Phinnessee- Parkview Prep Academy
  • Susan Menard- North Parkway Middle School
  • Whitney Hogg- Rose Hill School
  • Shemon Reaves- Arlington Elementary School
  • Amy Jacques- Nova Early Learning Center
  • Christa Frye- Bethel University
  • Misty Lewis- Community Montessori School
  • Sarah Newstok- Libertas School of Memphis
  • Tammy Prater- Jackson State Community College
  • Vachenzia McKinney- Geeter K-8 School
  • April Hughes- Scenic Hill Elementary School
  • Christy Graves- Middleton Elementary School
  • Jody Hinson- Rutherford School
  • Josie Currie- Jackson Academic STEAM Academy
  • Kim Thompson- Dyer School
  • Kimberly Quinn- Denmark Elementary School
  • Regina DeLoach- Sherwood Elementary

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About Leaders Education Foundation

Leaders Education Foundation is a non-profit 501c3 organization based in Jackson, Tenn. Established in 2019, the Foundation allows community-minded citizens, members, and organizations to unite to make lives better together. The Foundation invests in the local community through scholarships, grants, and supporting additional programs to provide educational opportunities promoting lifelong learning for students, teachers, and our community. For more information about Leaders Education Foundation, please visit their website.