The Bright Minds Foundation Announces 2018/2019 Staff and Teacher Grant Awardees

Applicant/Awardees               Name of School                             Grant Amount              Name of Project

1.   Kenneth Brown             Applications and Research Lab               $1500                            EMT Academy-Into the Future

2.  Alyson Donoghue           Applications and Research Lab              $1579      Isolation and Analysis of Chesapeake Thraustochytrids

3.  Charles Lidard                Atholton HS                                             $627                      Mr. Bucket’s By-Pass Surgery

4.  David Floyd 

     and Elissa Hozore         Bellows Spring ES                                  $1476           Bee-Gin Computer Science with Bee-Bots

5.  Beth Ivey                       Bellows Spring ES                                  $600                                     Buddy Bench

6.. Raymond Gerstner        Glenelg HS                                             $600               Glenelg First Robotics Team

7.  Joshua Mize                  Glenelg HS                                            $1842              Coding a Pathway to STEM Experiences

8.. Anne Reis                     Homewood Center                                 $450                Truth and Racial Healing Book Club

9.  Jon Hollander               Howard HS                                             $780                Rho Kappa Oral History Project

10.  Sarah McGuire           Laurel Woods ES                                   $1123               We Can Code Project




Staff and Teacher Grant Program - General Information

The Staff and Teacher Grant Program was created to fulfill the need of teachers and staff that developed innovative projects to enhance learning and often tried to pay for the projects out of pocket.  The program is entirely within the mission of the Foundation, which is to bring private money to support education in Howard County in ways the budget may not always provide. Bright Minds is an independent, nonprofit foundation. Our mission is to support education, aspirations and the opportunity to succeed for all students within the Howard County Public School System.

Applications are solicited once per year, around March.  Applicants can request grants in the amount of $500-$2000. In order to be considered, projects must support the BMF mission, the HCPSS mission and address one of the six competency areas listed below.

Funding is provided by general donations from individuals and businesses, as well as specific donations from organizations which support one or more of the categories below.  Contact us if you wish to donate to this program.  We thank the following for their support of our recent Staff and Teacher Grant Program awardees:   Comcast and Northrop Grumman.

Categories for Grant Applications

Cultural Proficiency, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: The world today is truly interconnected - decisions, wherever they occur, often have local, regional, national and even global impact.  Students live in increasingly diverse communities and many will work for businesses involved in global commerce.  Students will need an understanding of and have the ability to participate in environments that value diversity, equity and inclusiveness.

Financial, Economic, Business and Entrepreneurship Literacy : Both personally and professionally, students will be responsible for making sophisticated economic and business choices.  Students will need to know how to evaluate personal economic decisions, how the economy impacts society, and how to use entrepreneurial skills to enhance workplace productivity and career options.

Fine Arts: Today’s prevailing view is that the arts have public value because they promote broad social and economic goals, such as economic growth and better academic performance. However, the primary reason we make both public and private investments in the arts is for the inherent value of culture: life-enhancing, entertaining, and defining of our personal and national identities.

Humanities: It is important for the young people of our community to understand who we are as a nation and our place in the larger global society. We live in an increasingly diverse community and for our students to succeed and to participate fully in government and in the local and broader community;  they need a deeper understanding of history, of culture, and of literature and language.

Health and Wellness AwarenessOver the past few generations the responsibility of managing one’s health has shifted more and more to the individual, and at the same time the complexity and volume of healthcare information has increased exponentially.  Students must be prepared to obtain, interpret and understand basic health information and services as well as know how to use such information and services in health enhancing ways.

Information and Communications Technology Literacy: The 21st Century is an age of overflowing information and proliferating media.  Two types of awards will be granted to support students’ competencies in this area:

  1.  Students must learn to use appropriate technologies to process, analyze and present information efficiently and effectively.
  2. All students, regardless of economic background, must have equal access to these essential technologies.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM):  The lack of US students prepared to enter the STEM workforce is limiting economic growth, and causing businesses to look globally to fill the void.  Building a diverse pool of students interested in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics is increasingly important to ensuring America’s economic growth and national security.

The Bright Minds Foundation Announces 2017/2018 Staff and Teacher Grant Awardees


         Name                                     Name of School                                 Grant Amount           Name of Project

1.   Maddy Halbach                     Applications and Research Lab              $1000                      Investing in Your Future
2.  Geordie Paulus
     Barbara Randolph                  Burleigh Manor MS                                  $1350                  Maker Faire and Maker Pop Ups
3.  Nancy Prendergast                Harper’s Choice MS                                  $700                   HCMS Community Garden
4.  Karen McVay                          Lime Kiln MS                                           $1350                  STEM Makerspace
5.  Jessica Kohut                         Reservoir HS                                           $1700                  Innovation in Biology (Comcast)
6.. Kristina John-Gabriel
    Shari B. Dardick Lorch          Running Brook ES                                  $1600                    Block Code - Autism (MSBR)

7. Jamie Berry                            Swansfield ES                                         $300                    Desk Cycles

Cultural Proficiency

1. Rachel Kaufman                      Bollman Bridge ES                                  $500                  Supporting an Anti- Bias Framework thru Literature
2.  Page Gale                               Deep Run Elementary School               $1000                  Books are Mirrors
3.  Stephen Nesmith                   Homewood Center - Gateway                $2000                  Saving Our Boys of Color
4.  Brett Moore                             Long Reach High School                       $2000                  Bring Challenge Day to LRHS
5.  Kara Fick/Jamie Stavinski   Oakland Mills High School                       $1500                  Peer Leaders for New Students at OMHS
Other Options     
1. Eileen Volker                           Clarksville ES                           Chromebooks Offered    Ipad Center for School
2. Sandra Alger                           Longfellow ES                           Chromebooks offered    Integrating Visual Art and Reading Skills


The Bright Minds Foundation Announces 2016/2017 Staff and Teacher Grant Awardees

Congratulations to the following staff and teachers who received funding for their project through our program!  We have awarded $25,000 this year to help make a difference in each of these schools.  We are proud to say that this brings the total we have provided for this program since its inception to$118,992, thereby providing amazing enrichment activities to many HCPSS classrooms!

We will present each of the awardees with their banners and certificates at the Board of Education meeting scheduled for October 20, 2016. The grant program is closed for this year.  Applications for next school year (2017-2018) will open in spring 2017.


Name of School

Grant Amount

Name of Project

1.   Maddy Halbach

Applications and Research Lab


Investing in Your Future

2. Greg Friedman

Atholton HS


Atholton First Robotics Team

3.  Beth Ivey

Bellow Springs ES


Kelso's Choice

4. Geordie Paulus and Barbara Randolph

Burleigh Manor MS


Design Lab @ BMMS: Building a Makerspace Movement

5.  Daniel Blue

Dunloggin MS


Oyster Restoration in the Chesapeake  Bay

6. Andrew Spang

Folly Quarter MS


Play It Forward

7  Raymond Gerstner

Glenelg HS


First Lego League Summer Camp

8. Stephen Lee

Hammond HS


Robots at Hammond HS


9.  Carolyn Colon

Homewood Center


GMS Ready to Focus, Ready to Learn

10. Suzanne McMurtray

Homewood Center


Gateway Girls Service

11. Patricia Marshall

Howard HS


Creating and Living Healthy Lifestyles

12.  Jodi Duff

Long Reach HS



13. Susan Reider and Tim Grafton

Mayfield Woods MS


Mayfield’s Space

14.  Julie Mills

Patapsco MS


Composers in the Cloud

15.  Allyson Glassband

Talbott Springs MS


Playing Games for a Growth Mindset

16.  Julie Morgan

Waterloo ES


Engaging Bodies and Minds