19 grants were distributed across Beaufort County

2019 Foundation for Excellence Grant Recipients
Posted on 12/02/2019
Students and teachers cheering

November 26, 2019

Foundation awards 19 grants
to local teachers

BEAUFORT CO., S.C. – The Foundation for Educational Excellence awarded 19 Innovative Teacher and School Resource Grants on Tuesday, November 19th to teachers across Beaufort County. These grants totaling more than $23,000 were given to teachers whose educational activities and projects surpass regular school lessons. “The funds will provide 3,837 unique learning opportunities for students throughout the district at all age levels,” stated Deborah Colella, Chair.

Projects funded this grant cycle range from science to the Arts and everything in between. A unique project received a grant this fall entitled “BOOK CLUBS- Bringing families and classrooms together.” This innovative idea will impact all ELA students district-wide through the purchase of new and relevant books to facilitate parent/student book clubs. Another grant that received funding was entitled “Adding Spark to ‘It’s Electricity’” for HHI School for the Creative Arts. This project will help provide funds for third graders who will be performing a cross-curricular musical play that addresses third grade standards in science, visual, and performing arts.

This grant cycle was partially funded by generous contributions by The Bargain Box of Hilton Head, Friends of Callawassie, Italian American Club of Hilton Head and the Foundation’s major fundraiser, “Jewels and Jeans.” 

“We are so thankful to the organizations that help make it possible for The Foundation to award grants to these inventive teachers who want to go beyond the basic to transform the educational experience of students in Beaufort County,” says Michel Claudio, Foundation Board Member and Grant Chair.

The grant recipients for Fall 2019 are listed below:  




Argument Driven Inquiry

Battery Creek HS

Vincent Vernacchio

Say What?! I Can Tell a story with Video Games?!?

Pritchardville Elementary

Christina Cook, Michelle Quisenberry

Racing into Robotics

River Ridge Academy

Eric Mohrman

We Need A Hero

Port Royal Elementary

Kim Waters

LEGO by Makerspace

HHI Elementary

Beth Minton

Shared Reading Project


Sarah Bazemore, Pamela Rush

Rotary Club/What Lifts You Mural

M.C. Riley Elementary

JoEllen Jacobs

Sensory-Vision Therapy Room

M.C. Riley Elementary

Christie Brown, Sue Maloney, Debra Elsner

Engaging ELL’s with Novel Studies

Bluffton Middle School

Danielle Belmont

Garden of ACE

Beaufort Jasper ACE

Samuel Carpenter, Jeff Bates, Jerry Ferguson

4th Grade Musical (School House Rock)

Red Cedar Elementary

Nathan Kooi, Sarah McGhee

Theatre Funding

HHI Middle School

Soraya McCune

Book Clubs

HHI Middle School

Jody Hutcheson, Angela Bellatone, Lee Trew

Bridging the Language Divide

Mossy Oaks Elementary, Whale Branch Middle School, Whale Branch Elementary, Davis Elementary

LaToi Smith

Adding Spark to “It’s Electricity”

HHI School for the Creative Arts

Jennifer Friend-Kerr, Melinda Smith

Learning with LEGOs

Robert Smalls International Academy

Rebecca Gerrard, Barbara Mallon

Matilda: The Musical

Hilton Head High School

Kimberly Guinn

World Drumming

Whale Branch Elementary

Kelly Lee Turner

Junior Naturalists

Okatie Elementary

Danielle Hunt


For Publicity, email Lisa Carroll at lisapr@hargray.com or call 843-304-1922.


Established in 2008 to support the mission and goals of the Beaufort County School District, the Foundation supports student instructional activities and projects through Innovative Teacher Grants, Innovative School Resource Grants and Student Enrichment Grants. Grants are as diverse as purchasing supplies for building a robot or establishing an eco-habitat for native species. What all grants have in common is that they spark inquisitive minds.  Applications for Innovative Teacher Grants and School Resource Grants may be submitted in the Fall of the BCSD school year. Student Enrichment grant applications are accepted throughout the school year. Projects are chosen on their merit by a committee of the Foundation. Since 2009, the Foundation has awarded over $270,000 in grants to the teachers, schools, and students in the public school system. The Foundation is a 501(c)3 and a fund of the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry.  For further information call 843-301-7150 or visit the Foundation for Educational Excellence