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Support. Enrich. Inspire.

Empowered Educators

LBUSD teachers say Thank You!

Few jobs are more important—or more challenging—than educating our children. Without sufficient resources, even the most dedicated teachers can't deliver the most enriching programs. By supporting teachers and providing classroom resources, SchoolPower cultivates innovation, teacher leadership and collaboration. This not only provides resources to help teachers succeed in the classroom, it creates a positive professional environment and helps to attract the best teachers to our district.

Every year, SchoolPower supports teachers through two specific programs — Community Campaign designations and the SchoolPower Endowment Teacher Grant Program. Community Campaign Donors of over $600 may direct 20% of their donation to a program, grade level teacher team, PTA, sport or teacher of their choice. And, SchoolPower supplements the designations so that every teacher at LBUSD receives a minimum of $200 each year! Through the generosity of our community, SchoolPower presented a total of $73,215 in teacher designations for 2017-18.

SchoolPower Endowment’s Teacher Grants program allows teachers and administrators to dream big for LBUSD students, and then fulfill those dreams. Every year enthusiastic educators apply for SchoolPower grants to enrich their classroom experience. Grants range from grades K-12 and cut across all educational disciplines, from advanced chemistry equipment to a ballet bar to a potter’s kiln. Grants are thoroughly vetted by LBUSD leaders and SchoolPower Endowment, and are approved based on their impact, creativity and sustainability. Grants are announced each Spring. For details on the application process see Teacher Grants.

In 2017, SchoolPower Endowment awarded $91,198 with 23 grants to teachers at all four Laguna Beach schools:

21st Century Media CenterEl Morro Elementary
Awesome OsmosEl Morro Elementary
Book LoveLaguna Beach High School
Comprehension SuccessTop of the World Elementary
Expanding MultimediaThurston Middle School
Gizmo Science SimulationsEl Morro Elementary
iPad Pro/Styluses for Sp. Ed.Laguna Beach High School
Jazz Artists/WorkshopsThurston / Laguna Beach High School
Molecules to OrganismsTop of the World Elementary
Ozmo EngagementTop of the World Elementary
Ozobot Across CurriculumEl Morro Elementary
Ozobot RobotsTop of the World Elementary
Robotics STEAMTop of the World/El Morro Elementary
Science Lab ExpansionEl Morro Elementary
Sparkvue ScienceLaguna Beach High School
STEAM ForensicsThurston Middle School
Thurston Passion ProjectThurston Middle School
Vernier Technology STEMEl Morro Elementary
Video Production StudioLaguna Beach High School
Virtual VoyagesTop of the World Elementary
WeatherSTEM/bugTop of the World Elementary
World Language/Culture FairThurston Middle School

Here is a video of teachers sharing their gratitude:

Grants awarded in previous years are:

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (“STEM”)


Airwolf Axiom 3D Printer, $4,801, Carrie Denton, LBHS
Benchtop Autoclave for Microbiology Research, $4,600, Steve Sogo and Alondra Hartford, LBHS
Bone Farm, $8,000, Michelle Martinez, TMS
TMS Digital STEAM, $14,125, Jesse Rothman, TMS
OSMO, $5,000, Kimberly Mattson, Brett Bond, June Hosokawa, and Carol Mignosa, TOW
Dot and Dash, $2,816, Kimberly Mattson, Lynda Davis, and fifth grade teachers, TOW
Elementary Maker Space, $2,000, Melanie Whitenack, Kevin Nguyen, and Lisa Manion, TOW
Break It, Take It, Drop It, $650, Annie Bochenek, Kathy Vick, Heather Besecker, and Denise Grey, EMS
Gaining STEAM in Second Grade, $1,106, Deborah Finnerty, Marilyn Beauchemin, Kim Krause, and Cama Stevens, EMS
Light! Sound! Snap!, $1,645, Denise Grey, Heather Besecker, Annie Bochenek, and Kathy Vick, EMS
OSMO, $639, Kimberly Krause, EMS
OSMO Technology, $2,138, Lisa Williams, Gretchen Sjule, Mary Blanton, and Tami Mays, EMS

CSTEM Linkbots and Programming, $9,297, Carrie Denton and Cassandra Brooker, LBHS
Mobile Labs, $11,040, Jen Merritt and the science team, LBHS
SeaPerch Robotics, $5,332, Cassandra Brooker and Carrie Denton, LBHS
Footprints Through History, $8,000, Michelle Martinez, Megan Mattihas, and Darci Anderson, TMS
Murder Mystery Trial, $5,000, Kelly Skon and Michelle Martinez, TMS
Destination Imagination, $1,000, Ina Inouye Wu, TMS
NGSS Implementation of Outdoor Science School Curriculum, $2,400, Richard Selin and the sixth grade science team, TMS
STEM Stations, $750, Maryann Thomas and the fourth grade team, TOW
TOW Grade 5 STEM Science Kits, $1,963, Susan Dick and the fifth grade team, TOW
Empowering Science and Literature, $1,400, Rosie Haynes and the second grade team, TOW
Learn to Learn Education – SDC, $787, Kim Adams and special education team, EMS
FOSS Next Generation Forces and Matter, $3,488, Jamie Jameson and the third grade team, EMS
Factwise, $580, Marilyn Beachemin and the second grade team, EMS

A New Window on the World (Spectrophotometry for Honors Chemistry), $9,995, Steve Sogo, LBHS
Making Math Mobile, $4,000, Jennifer Spitler, TMS
2014 Life Science iPad Print Workstation, $2,425, Linda Hill-Lindsay, TMS

Toshiba Tablets for Chemistry Education, $1,700, Steven Sogo, LBHS
Science Partnership with UCSD Chemists, $3,500, Steven Sogo, LBHS
Cal Math Council Annual Conference,$2,970, Valorie Quigley, LBHS
Outdoor Science, $5,000, Richard Selin, TMS
ST Math Program Renewal and Generation 5 Major Upgrade, $3,000, Lisa Hansen, CLC

Outdoor Science Scholarship Fund, $5,000, Richard Selin, TMS

Classroom Technology


Bringing Video Technology into the Dance Studio, $2,822, Estee Carizosa and Samantha Hampton, LBHS
Smartboard, $8,265, Paul Matheson, TMS
Smart Board Software, $500, Kimberly Mattson, TOW

Digital Photography, $8,120, Kerry Pellow, Bridget Beaudry-Porter, Somer Selway, and Scott Wittkop, LBHS
Pasco Sensors, $6,320, Carrie Denton, LBHS
5th Grade iPad Keyboards, $2,335, Susan Dick, TOW

iPad classroom pilot program, $600, LBHS
History Alive! Virtual Notebook, $10,000, Michelle Martinez, TMS
5 Laptops for Center Enrichment, $3,871, TOW

Expanding Multimedia at Thurston, $990, Andy Crisp, LBHS
iPads for Education Elementary 5th grade pilot project funded by combined Endowment Grant and a donation from the Martini family, $37,300, 5th grade teams), EMS and TOW
iPad cases, $4,200, EMS, Tauna Knudson
Innovative teaching using the iPod Touch, $7,500, Ron LaMotte, TOW

Athletics and Wellness


Career Mentor Program, $8,600, Cyndi Kimball, Lynn Gregory, and Ann Bergen, LBHS
Learning in Motion, $2,300, Kari Damato, Marie Bammer, Tricia Engel, and Maryann Thomas, TOW
Terrace Garden, $2,000, Mary Blanton and Tami Mays, EMS

Reality Works Real Care Babies, $2,596, Penny Herrick-Dressler, TMS

Leadership Curriculum, $1,059, Leah Prettyman, TMS
Reality Works Baby Updating, $2,600, Penny Herrick-Dressler, TMS
Coffee Break, $2,000, Cindy Newman-Jacobs, District

PAL Leadership Training, $1,500, Melinda Hawkins, LBHS
Coffee Break, $5,000, Cindy Newman-Jacobs, District
Social Skills Facilitation Project, $15,000, Irene White

Naviance Software – College & Career Readiness, $7,800, Dr. Culverhouse, LBHS
LBHS College & Career Planning Guide, $4,200, Nichole Rosa, LBHS
Coffee Break, $5,000, Cindy Newman-Jacobs, District

The Arts


Drama Classroom Lighting System, $8,000, Alexis Karol and Peter Roche, LBHS
Wacom Art Tables, $7,638, Kerry Pellow and Bridget Beaudry Porter, LBHS
Let Video Production Serve All, $4,985, Jun Shen, LBHS

Rotary Labs, $1,600, Scott Wittkop, LBHS
Arts in School, $4,500, Cheri David and the first grade team and Debbie Finnerty and the second grade team, EMS

The Renovation of the Greene Room, $5,000, Mark Dressler and Peter Roche, LBHS
Moving Video Production Forward, $2,439, Jun Shen, LBHS
The Garden is a Gallery, $1,800, Tamara Wong, EMS

The Garden is a Gallery, $1,605, 3rd Grade Team, EMS
Mobile Display Case, $2,255, Somer Selway, LBHS
Technology for Art Department, $5,000, Scott Wittkop and Kerry Pellow, LBHS

Expanding Multimedia, $990, Andy Crisp, TMS

Language Arts


Full Wall Classroom White Board, $5,732, Dawn Hunnicutt, LBHS
World of Words Reading Program Bundles, Tami Mays, EMS

Journalism Training at Newspapers Workshop, $3,500, James Brusky, LBHS
Reading Counts, $5,000, Principal Michael Conlon, TOW
Socialization Curriculum, $1,750, Dustin Gowan, TOW
Happiest Place On Earth, $700, Heather Besecker and fourth grade team, EMS
Watch Out!, $450, Heather Besecker and the fourth grade team, EMS
Time For Kids, $601, Shannon Velotta-Grasso and third grade team, EMS
Germs Make Me Sick, $363, Heather Besecker and the fourth grade team, EMS

English Department Modernize Technology, $3,0724, Jun Shen, LBHS
Decisive Reading, $1,000, Rosie Haynes, TOW

Junior Great Books, $898, 1st Grade Team, TOW
Text Complexity – Common Core State Standards, $2,000, Dustin Gowan, TOW
Literacy w/ Non-fiction, $1,000, 1st Grade Team, TOW
Learning Headquarters Common Core Writing Training, Marie Bammer, TOW
Classroom Library Improvement, $800, Mary Minerman, TOW
3rd grade Common Core Literacy Support, $800, EMS, Wong
Learning Headquarters Common Core Writing Training, $1,500, Marie Bammer, EMS

Newspapers 2 Journalism Workshop, $2,100, Jim Brusky, LBHS
Scholastic Reading Counts, $2,500, Chris Duddy and Claudia Cameron, EMS
Words with Students, $300, Annie Bochenek, EMS
Scrabble Flash, $300, Denise Grey, EMS

Foreign Language


Project Talk Abroad, $1,000, Jeff Dippel, TMS

French Learning Library Funding for Books, $1,000, Randi Beckley, TMS