SJPS Foundation Grant Recipients

Thank You for Your Dedication to SJPS Students!


Melissa Binns, Jason Huber, Kaylee Gray: Don’t Drop the Bloxels!! $599

This project is a creative and authentic way students can explore, code, create, and narrate stories in in the classroom or at home.

Ian Brown: Bringing the World to All: VR Headsets in the Classroom $14,628

Carmen A. Grandy Award for Teaching Excellence

Callie Campbell: Flexible Seating for SJHS Secondary Resource Room $2,127

Sarah Juengling: Graphing Calculators for SJHS $2,813

Burke Lokey, Joshua Doe: Band and Orchestra Spain Tour – Masterclass and Performance in Madrid $5,000

Laura Pallo, Gabriela Parra: Operation Update $1317

Technology specific iPads for speech and language applications.

Natalie Rank: Learning is Always in Play $296

New materials/manipulatives for the Early Childhood Special Education Preschool classroom which will enhance the learning of all of the children in the program.

Tessa Sheldon: High Noon Reading Intervention Program $1301

High quality, research based materials designed for students with learning differences in the area of reading.

Sara Smothers: PLT4M Conditioning Program for Upton and SJHS  $2,550

PLT4M offers physical conditioning programs for remote or in person physical education students.  Students can engage in training videos put together by Certified Strength and Conditioning Coaches, and will also be encouraged to set healthy lifestyle goals.




Kimberly Borlin, Upton MS Special Education Teacher

Flexible Seating options for students.

Brittany Mohney, M.S. CCC-SLP, SJPS Speech Language Pathologist Cricut Maker 3 to use with materials geared toward targeted speech and language goals with students.



October 2021 Awards

Kristina Allen: Builder’s Club Offsite Project $70
Transportation for Upton Middle School students to off site community service projects.
Bryan Arbut: Project Lit Book Club $2,300
A diverse group of 60+ high School students from grades 9 through 12 are members of Project LIT, with over 40 students signing up in September 2021. The grant will cover book purchases and community outreach activities as the group plans to expand their literacy efforts.
Tracy Becker and Joyce Hunter: Senior Service Project Presentation Day Materials $246
Materials for SJHS Senior Year Community Service Projects as assigned in Senior English Classes. Seniors collaborate with local nonprofit organizations to create a meaningful project that serves our community.
Lauri Berry: Key Club Service Leadership Conference $800
Transportation to service/leadership conferences. Key Club members that attend these conferences network with upwards of 500 other members from across the state, participate in service projects, run for and elect their state officer positions, earn scholarships, and learn valuable leadership skills.
Greg Blomgren: Outdoor Metal Tables on Lakeview Ave. $5,330
Seating for classes to work outside, and enjoy outdoor lunch. It is also the area for freshmen and sophomore pick up after school and will provide a spot for students to sit outside while waiting for rides.
Carrie Brunsting: SJ Robotics Funding $10,830
Registration and equipment for SJPS elementary, middle school and high school robotics programs.


October 2021 Awards continued

Callie Campbell: SJHS Photography Club Field Trip $1,800
Students will develop and enhance their photography skills by taking pictures of selected subjects outside of their community. Students will be impacted by subject matter experts (SMEs), who will mentor and resource the students in photography.
Amy Dirlam: Project Wayfinder — SEL Curriculum for SJHS $24,035
A culturally responsive SEL curriculum and set of tools designed specifically for secondary students. It offers data analysis, and a robust library of activities and lessons tailored to meet the needs of students.
Amy Dirlam: Building Book Love Year 3 and Beyond $15,180
A continuation to support purchases for the five media centers in SJPS to update book collections to ensure currency  and vitality in each school’s library collection.
Colleen Elkins: DiLL Language Lab Head Phone $1.100
Updated headphones for use by World Language students at SJHS.
Kelly Gaideski: Professional Learning Communities at Work (PLCs) Refresh II $43,646
The district’s commitment to ALL MEANS ALL is aided through the PLC model. 22 teachers and 12 administrators will intend the 3-day PLC Institute in Grand Rapids for intensive training.
Daniel Hernandez: Spanish Club $612
A Spanish Club pilot in which Brown Elementary students can begin learning the basics of Spanish through conversations, class discussions and cooperative learning.
Colette Jasiak: Social Emotional Learning Applied Through Games $908
The project will provide engaging, interactive, hands on experiences what will allow students to be immersed in the social emotional competencies and indicators adopted by the MDE.
Craig Jeffers: Intervention and Restorative Practices Programming $6,500
Research-based content designed to approach each incident as a learning opportunity.
Nevine Khalil: Checkmate Chess Club $836
Children in grades 1-5 at Lincoln Elementary will be instructed in chess moves, strategies, chess fun facts and the game itself which research has shown has many benefits for children.
Kelly Kietzerow: Science Olympiad $500
Registration fees and build materials for Science Olympiad, a science exploration and competition program which allows students to investigate different types of science that is not covered in class.
Claire Krieger, SJ Virtual Academy Teacher: Fostering Love for Literacy in Virtual Students $828
Virtual students will be able to choose eight books to keep and read at their homes.
Claire Krieger, SJ Virtual Academy Teacher: Virtual Field Trips for Virtual Elementary Students $265
Virtual students will be able to share in field trip experiences just like their in-person peers using creativity and innovative thinking.
Burke Lokey, SJPS Orchestra Director: Large Instrument Rental for Spain Trip $5,000
Most small and medium sized instruments will be carried on the plane, but for those students who play a large instrument, rental overseas is more cost effective.
Chad Mandarino, Upton MS Principal: Sarrett Nature Center Pond Ecology Field Trip $1975
Kick-off to Salmon in the Classroom project. Students will learn about life cycles and how the salmon impact the ecosystems.