By Noah Alatza
Two Hamilton Southeastern School teachers were among 15 in the state to receive a grant from the College Football Playoff Foundation. Each grant is worth $6,000 and can be redeemed using DonorsChoose.org, a nonprofit that helps teachers collect donations for classroom projects.
The HSE teachers who received the grants are Hoosier Road Elementary kindergarten teacher Julie Buck and Sand Creek elementary fourth-grade teacher Molly Coffman.
Buck was pleasantly surprised to receive the grant. She applied after hearing about the opportunity from a parent.
“I was surprised, blessed and just thankful because this is a really, really big opportunity that I would have never even looked into had a parent not talked to me about it,” she said.
Buck used her grant to fund STEM exploration stations for her class.
With $3,500 still left in her DonorsChoose account, she now plans to ask students what they want to learn or use in school. She said she also will meet with her kindergarten team to get something for their grade level.
For Coffman, receiving the grant was good news in what has been a difficult year with a cancer diagnosis and chemotherapy treatment.
“This has been a big win for me,” she said. “(The grant) is something you never think you’re going to get.”
Coffman plans to use her grant toward a mobile hydroponics lab, which can be used by all grade levels.
The teachers were recognized during the Dec. 2 Big Ten Football Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Coffman and Buck said they received VIP treatment and watched the action from the quarterback’s suite. They were recognized during the game for receiving the grant.