BY EILEEN PERSIKE
Two Rhinelander teachers are asking for your votes. No, Mary Dean and Meg Macdonald are not running for public office; rather, the Nativity of Our Lord teachers are each vying for $2,500 grants from Farmers Insurance.
Four times a year, the Farmers “Thank America’s Teachers” program opens nominations for deserving teachers. A simple online thank you note is all it takes to get the ball rolling, according to Erica Chariton, the office manager at the local office of Farmers Insurance.
“This year, 180 teachers across the country will win $2,500,” Chariton said. “Those teachers are then eligible to receive a grant of $100,000. Everyone can vote for as many teachers as they want, once a day per email address.”
Thank America’s Teachers will give away more than $1 million this year in educational grants to help teachers make a difference. Chariton said the program is available to all teachers. It just takes someone with initiative to write the proposals. Macdonald teaches math, social studies and computer for students ranging in age from grades three to eight. Her proposal and Dean’s include buying iPads. Currently, the 120 students in those grades share four iPads. A similar situation exists for Nativity’s younger students.
“Between 60 kids we share 16 iPads,” said Dean. “We try to keep up with technology in the 21st century, so anything that would help in that direction, we’d be very appreciative of.”
“Even though I have third through eighth graders and Mary has kindergarteners,” Macdonald explained, “both sets of students are so much more engaged when there is some sort of dynamic display. If there is anything moving, flashing, beeping or bouncing – any of those sorts of things keep them focused.”
To vote for Macdonald and Dean, go to ThankAmericasTeachers.com and follow the directions. Supporters can vote once a day for as many teachers as they wish.
“Get out and vote. Just vote. It literally takes five seconds,” Chariton added. “We’re a small community but we can reach a lot of people.”