FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 4, 2011
Northview Middle School Principal Julie Oliver (left) poses with fifth-grade teacher Stacy Honabach who was named a runner-up in the ORAU Extreme Classroom Makeover competition, a title that earned her $20,000 toward the purchase of technology enhancements for her classroom. Click image to enlarge.
KODAK, Tenn.—Stacy Honabach was certain her chance to create a dream state-of-the-art technology classroom was gone following last week’s 2011 Extreme Classroom Makeover grand-prize winner announcement by Oak Ridge Associated Universities.
That’s why she was astonished when ORAU representatives surprised Honabach today during a school-wide assembly at Northview Middle School. Honabach, a 5th grade math teacher was named runner-up in the Extreme Classroom Makeover competition and is receiving a $20,000 grant toward the purchase of technology enhancements for her classroom.
The grant was created with $12,500 in funds from ORAU and additional contributions from three organizations with strong ties to Sevier County. The Fee/Hedricks Family Entertainment Group, the Public Education Forum of East Tennessee and the Dollywood Foundation all joined efforts to contribute $7,500 to the local winner.
“The mission of this program is to put technology in the classroom to enhance teaching and learning,” said ORAU President and CEO Andy Page. “One of the goals is also to encourage local business support of that same mission, and these Sevier County businesses have stepped up to do just that.”
While runners up in this competition have in previous years received a $4,000 grant, this year’s program was extremely competitive with Ms. Honabach’s submission coming in as a very close second to the grand-prize winner, Mr. Herman Sutton of Green Magnet Math and Science Academy in Knox County. ORAU was also inspired by the additional funding commitments from the local businesses and decided to increase the grant amount accordingly.
Contestants entering ORAU’s competition are required to meet specific criteria. They must teach math or science for 5th-8th grade and work for a public school located within 50 miles of Oak Ridge. Additionally a teacher must submit a short video illustrating the classroom’s need and explain how the new technologies would be used to energize and enhance learning.
ORAU’s Extreme Classroom Makeover highlights and supports educators who are working the front lines and illustrates how technology in the classroom helps teachers inspire more students to pursue math- and science-based careers.
This is the third year ORAU has sponsored the Extreme Classroom Makeover project. To view this year’s winning videos please visit the 2011 Extreme Classroom Makeover video page.
ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).