The John and Mary O’Brien Foundation is proud to
announce it’s 1999 Grant Awards. The foundation is awarding grants to
ten teaches. This year’s recipients are an impressive group dedicated
to lifelong learning. The foundation wishes the whole community could
recognize the way in which these teachers foster an environment that
encourages excellence in the classroom.
Genie Burkhalter has been with CISD for six
years and is currently teaching sixth grade reading at Westover Park
Intermediate School. Ms. Burkhalter will be touring Ireland, England and
Scotland. She will be studying the regional history and touring the
countryside to bring these first hand experiences back to share with her
Robynn Falcinelli is a Reading Renaissance
teacher at Puckett Elementary, always striving to find better techniques
for children to learn to love reading. Ms. Falcinelli will be traveling
to New Zealand to observe their very successful literacy program.
Rose Flieger is in her twelfth year at Mesa
Verde Elementary. She is a second grade teacher who works with the
gifted and talented. Ms. Fliegar will attend Confratute at the
University of Connecticut in Storrs, to help her work with and educate
her gifted and talented students.
Meg Hendrick has been the Library Media
Specialist at Bonham Middle School for five years. She teaches library,
technology and media skills to the students. Ms. Hendrick will be taking
a study trip to England for more extensive training enabling her to
upgrade school technology and better serve her students.
Kathryn Keith is a Special Education teacher
and has been at Mesa Verde Elementary for eight years. She considers it
an honor to work with these children and believes there to be a great
need for bilingual education for her children. Ms. Keith will travel to
Mexico to tour historic sights and to study the Mexican culture and
P. Timothy Mohler has been with Fannin
Middle School for five years as a sixth grade social studies teacher.
His hands-on approach has been effective in expanding his students’
exposure to ancient cultures and histories. He will be traveling to
Egypt and Greece. While there, he will set up a pen-pal/e-mail program
between his students and the students and teachers in the areas he
Dalia Orta is a combination second-third
grade teacher at Humphrey Highlands Elementary. She works as a
translator and helped to establish a positive rapport with the bilingual
parents there. Ms. Orta has been a valuable asset to her school and
would like to improve on her written and spoken Spanish. She will
attending the Center for Bilingual Multicultural Studies in Cuernavaca,
Pamela Ostrowski has been with Valleyview
Junior High since 1984. She is an eight grade American History teacher
and she feels that America’s past is crucial to understanding the
future. Ms. Ostrowski will be attending the Colonial Williamsburg
Teacher Institute in Virginia.
Jean Parker is a seventh grade social
studies teacher at Travis Middle School. She specializes in HyperStudio,
which is a multimedia program. Ms. Parker works with many at-risk
students and involves them in student ownership projects that contain
animations, videos and multimedia. Ms. Parker will be attending the
Hyperstudio Conference and Workshops in San Diego, California.
Janet Payne is a fifth grade social studies
and language arts teacher at Paramount
Terrace Elementary. Ms. Payne has been with Paramount Terrace since 1992
and won their teacher of the year award for the 1997-98 school year. She
would like to improve her understanding of American colonial life and
the Revolutionary War period. Ms. Payne will travel some of the major
sights of early American history in Philadelphia, New York and Boston.
The O’Brien Foundation would like to applaud the
commitment of these teachers for providing quality education to our
children. The number of worthy applicants for this year’s grants is
indicative of the quality of teaching in the Amarillo area.
The John & Mary O’Brien Foundation for
Academic Excellence was founded in 1986 to help recognize and reward
teachers who continuously devote extra effort in providing students a
quality education and who maintain high professional standards. Anyone
interested in further information may call Blake O’Brien, 372-3877.
P.O. Box 9618 Amarillo, TX 79105 * (806)372-3877*120 * Email Us