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Winners of TeacherPreneur Grant Program Announced

Date: 12/16/2014
News Release Number: 14-181
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. December 16, 2014 – Six teachers with innovative proposals to develop instructional strategies to improve learning have been chosen to receive inaugural TeacherPreneur grants from the Great Schools Partnership and Knox County Schools.
Through the TeacherPreneur Grant Program, the Great Schools Partnership and Knox County Schools solicited innovative instructional ideas from the school district’s 4,000 plus teachers over the past month. More than 45 proposals were received, and from these, six were chosen as having the potential for the highest impact on student learning and success. The grant program supports and encourages the Knox County Schools’ educational leaders to be creative problem solvers, builds and celebrates instructional capacity of educators and improves the quality of teaching to benefit students.
Proposals were evaluated by a panel of experienced educators, and the grants range in amounts from $1,000 to $25,000. Recipients of the 2014 TeacherPreneur grants are these exemplary educators, listed with their ideas:
  • April Lamb, $7,092, Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Academy: Screencasting
  • Sarah Hobbs, $9,857, Vine Middle Magnet School: Integrated STEAM Musical
  • Clint LaFollette, $24,000, L&N STEM Academy: 3D Design Resource Center
  • Brittany Laethem, $1,000, Karns Middle School: Special Education Ball Chairs
  • Beth Howe, $13,040, Hardin Valley Academy: Foreign Language Lab
  • Holly Kelley, $7,782, Farragut High School: Interdisciplinary Anatomy Physiology Project
“TeacherPreneurs are for education what entrepreneurs are for business,” said Buzz Thomas, president of the Great Schools Partnership. “They innovate. They have vision. They continually find ways to improve. And those are traits so many of the teachers in the Knox County Schools possess. Through the grant program, we just wanted to give them a chance to shine, and they didn’t disappoint.”
“Teachers are our greatest instructional experts. They know firsthand what works and what doesn’t,” said Knox County Schools Magnet Supervisor Daphne Odom. “We’re so proud of all teachers who submitted proposals, and the ideas of the six who were selected to receive the grants will, no doubt, have a direct impact on student achievement and engagement. Plus the winners will share their ideas with other teachers through professional development sessions next year.”
More information about the TeacherPreneur Grant Program is available at the Great Schools Partnership and Knox County Schools websites.
The mission of the Great Schools Partnership is to serve as a think-tank, catalyst, incubator, start-up funder and operational partner for making Knox County Schools globally competitive. A free-standing public charity, the Great Schools Partnership has been instrumental in leveraging, creating and/or expanding programs such as Community Schools, Parents as Teachers, early literacy initiatives, summer bridge programs, for struggling students, teacher mentoring/induction programs, Thank a Teacher Week, CODEtn, and Project GRAD. For more information on the Great Schools Partnership, please call (865) 215-4501 or visit our website at
students presentation
Points of Contact at Knox County Schools are
Melissa Ogden, 594-1905 or
Amanda Johnson, 594-2972 or
Excellence for All Children
Twitter: @knoxschools