Mississippi Power Education Foundation awards new teacher grants

GULFPORT, MS – As part of a program to recognize and encourage new school teachers, the Mississippi Power Education Foundation awarded $1,000 grants to ten individuals throughout its service territory currently in their first year of teaching.

“In addition to first year teachers learning a tough new job, they also sometimes face a shortage of supplies and other resources necessary to be effective in the classroom,” said Becky Montgomery, executive director of the Education Foundation. “This program was established to try to help with those challenges.”

Each of the winning teachers may spend their awards on whatever they think will best benefit their classrooms and students.

Recipients include: Corey Boykin, who teaches 1st grade at Northeast Elementary in Meridian; Kimberly Ellis, an 11th and 12th grade teacher at the Career Development Center in Poplarville; Melissa Foles, a 9th – 12th grade chemistry and physical science teacher at Forrest County Agricultural High School in Brooklyn; James Louis, who teaches 6th - 8th grade English and 7th grade social studies at the Opportunity Center in Pascagoula; Daphne Nelson, a 5th grade reading, language arts and social studies teacher at Runnelstown School in Petal; Laura Reece, who teaches English I and II, at Quitman High School in Quitman; Brandi Robinson, a 1st grade teacher at Ellisville Elementary in Ellisville; Dana Stallworth, who teaches business technology, at Biloxi High in Biloxi; Tiffany Sudbury, a 10th - 12th grade computer technology teacher at Meridian High in Meridian; Courtney Ulrich, a math and English teacher from Gulfport High in Gulfport.

“We know the need to attract, reward and retain quality teachers is essential to the success of our schools,” said Montgomery. “These young educators have already made an impressive beginning, and we wish them long and happy careers as Mississippi educators. We hope these grants will help them know how important they are to the students they teach and how much they are valued by the communities they represent.”

Since 1984, the Mississippi Power Education Foundation has supported excellence in education in Mississippi. During the past 20 years, the foundation has awarded more than $3 million in grants to teachers, schools, school systems and educational projects.