Hancock Bank is honoring five area teachers for instructional expertise and creative curriculum-enhancing proposals that reinforce state educational requirements and complement students' classroom experiences.
During the 11th annual Leo W. Seal Teacher Recognition Awards program in Gulfport, Hancock Bank executives, Mississippi Superintendent of Education Dr. Hank Bounds, and representatives of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation lauded winners of the 2007 Seal awards and presented each teacher with a one-time $1,000 grant earmarked for innovative value-added educational projects, a gift card for school supplies, and a pewter apple handcrafted exclusively for Hancock Bank by John Cannon of Ballard Pewter, Ltd., in Ocean Springs.
Selected based on past and proposed classroom teaching applications, recipients of the 2007 Seal awards are:
Judy Dalgo - Ocean Springs High School
- "MyPod" - Through the use of interactive iPod technology, students will research, write, produce, and create podcasts on important health related topics. The resulting digital media lessons will help students and teachers recognize and implement the teaching advantages current technology can afford and will serve as innovative learning resources benefiting teachers and, potentially, more than 1,300 students annually.
Stephanie Fairley - Petal Elementary School
- "Developing Map Skills" - Integrating the use of historical timelines, compasses, talking maps, and globes, students will discover a new-found understanding of geography and the geographical evolution of today's world. Transcending traditional map studies, the program includes engaging activities designed to peak students' interest in world geography and instill a basic knowledge of geography essential in navigating everyday life.
Suzanne Gilmore - Bay High School
- "Kinesthetic Investigative Science" - A new supply of dissecting microscopes will empower students to broaden their knowledge of biological sciences through hands-on, up-close laboratory exercises that develop scientific research skills, critical thinking and problem-solving abilities, methodical experimentation, accurate data interpretation, and succinct communication of results. The microscope initiative will help replace important science teaching equipment lost during Hurricane Katrina.
Mechelle Ramshur - Sumrall Elementary School
- "Marine Biology" - An in-depth study of the ocean - including marine animals, plant life, ocean resources, surface and underwater currents, tides, waves, and shoreline erosion - will strengthen students' creative and critical thought processes, cooperative learning, and systematic problem-solving capabilities. Students will study water, soil, and marine specimens; research and create presentations for other students; develop a brochure fostering post-Hurricane Katrina ecological restoration; and study, debate, and propose solutions to environmental issues relevant to post-storm rebuilding.
Kathy Smart - Oak Grove High School
- "Crime Scene Investigation at Acorn Acres Farm" - In the vein of popular C.S.I. television series, students will investigate a "crime scene" in a rural community, collecting and examining evidence comprising blood spatter, blood chemical and DNA analyses, hair samples, fingerprints, and other forensic elements. Scientific conclusions based on physical evidence should reveal to students that the crime actually represents the realities of farm life - eggs snatched from nests, cattle and chicken slaughter, sheep shearing, and other daily occurrences on a farm.
Established in 1994, the Leo W. Seal awards recognize teaching excellence and individual contributions to South Mississippi education and support teachers by funding original classroom teaching initiatives.