McKINNEY – On Friday, Dec. 13, the McKinney Education Foundation awarded over $50,000 in Classroom Grants to MISD teachers. From space exploration to bumble bee research, the grants will underwrite unique academic programs not already funded by MISD.

Margaret Harsch, MEF Operations Director, stated, “MEF Classroom Grants give teachers the freedom to implement exciting new programs, so I always look forward to this time of year. The teachers and students are so excited to see us. It’s one of the favorite parts of my job!”

MISD classroom grants are awarded to MISD teachers or staff to fund innovative new programs that may test a pilot program, try a new technique, or involve students in a program outside the normal curriculum to enhance the classroom experience. This program is largely funded by more than 1,100 MISD staff members who contribute to the MEF Staff Fund via payroll deductions. Additionally, CoServ, ISA insurance, Rotary Club of McKinney Sunrise, Drs. K. Lyle and Sandra W. Froese, support the program with endowments which will perpetually support the MEF grants program.

The 2013 MEF Classroom Grant Recipients are:

Name Class School
Debbie Gunst Social Skills Building Materials Cockrill MS
Jessica Wilson Notebook Tasks Language Arts Cockrill MS
Christine Formento Space Exploration-Past & Present Dowell MS
Mary Owens Interactive Research Evans MS
Andrea Stapleton Improving Reading Performance Faubion MS
Kristina Marshell Reaching Technology Goals in High Definition Faubion MS
Lisa Paine Finch Engineering Enrichment Program Finch ES
Linda Jones Buzzing about Bees: Habitats and Health Benefits Finch ES
Robin Richardson Effective and Efficient Handwriting Instruction Glen Oaks ES
Barbara Kinast Expanding Technology Integration Johnson MS
Dinorah Gutierrez Motor planning for learning readiness Lawson Early
Childhood Center
Ebonee King S.W.A.G. Academy
(Students Working for Academic Gain)
Malvern ES
Holly Hammonds 'I can' with an iPad! McClure ES
Holly Bianchetta Music Class Orff Instruments McGowen ES
Melanie Burford Becoming a Connected School and Community
through Video Production
McGowen ES
Steven Biles 'SOLE' in Science McKinney Boyd HS
Robert Gupton 3D Printing McKinney HS
Theresa Horvath Finch Robots McKinney HS
Pam McBride FIRST Robotic Competition Team Drive System McKinney HS
Aaron Engel eHigh Student Recognition McKinney North HS
Angie McNally Flipping in the Classroom Minshew ES
Tena Worthy iTech INdependently Minshew ES
Cathy Vance iPad Mini Project Press ES
Kris Toombs Techno For Specially Designed Instruction Press ES
Jamaul Pride B.O.Y.S. 2 Men Press ES
Allison Allen Integrated Technology Valley Creek ES
Jennifer Webster ESGI Software Vega ES
Amy Gagarin Reading Come ALIVE!!! Walker ES
Christy Hames Ferguson E-books for Everyone! Webb ES
Robin Keating Just the Facts, Please! Wilmeth ES
Susan Hanna Don't Wait to Create? iPads to Help Technology 'Bloom' Wolford ES

About the McKinney Education Foundation

The McKinney Education Foundation (MEF) is a non-profit education foundation that serves four core functions: scholarships, college applications, teaching enrichment and alumni relations.  It was founded in 1991 to centralize, simplify and enhance the process of raising money for and awarding scholarships to deserving graduates of the McKinney Independent School District (MISD).  MEF employs professional college advisors in each high school who assist students in preparing for higher education admissions and identifying additional individual education funding. MEF also offers Classroom and Professional Development grants for MISD staff. For more information visit

About McKinney ISD

One of the fastest growing school districts in Texas, the McKinney Independent School District currently enrolls more than 24,000 students in 20 elementary schools, five middle schools, three high schools, one alternative school and one early childhood education school. The mission of McKinney ISD, the champion for progressive learning throughout the diverse McKinney community, is to inspire and equip all students to explore, develop and express their unique potential as innovators, critical thinkers and collaborators through challenging, engaging and diverse learning experiences in vital partnership with the community. Visit the district's website at