Hornets and Fox Sports Southeast to Donate $34,000 to CMS Teachers

Eleven Educators To Receive Teacher Innovation Fund Grants To Implement Strategies To Instruct Students

November 8, 2016 – The Charlotte Hornets and FOX Sports Southeast, in partnership with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Foundation, will award a total of $34,000 in Teacher Innovation Fund grants to 11 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teachers to support the implementation of dynamic ideas to educate students. The teachers will receive the grants during a ceremony at halftime of the Hornets game against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at Spectrum Center.

“We are proud to support our local educators as they find new, creative ways to teach our youth,” said Hornets President & COO Fred Whitfield. “Together with FOX Sports Southeast, we are happy to make an impact on education and help provide new opportunities for these students.”

The Teacher Innovation Fund grants will go to the following Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teachers:

Nina Brashears, Spanish teacher, Ranson IB Middle School - $5,000 to raise awareness about access to college via a College Ambassadors program which designates student ambassadors to travel to North Carolina college campuses and share their experiences with their peers.

Anne Bucci, media coordinator, David W. Butler High School - $5,000 to support student and staff exercise while learning through the purchase of standing desks, exercise bike desks and treadmill desks for the school’s media center.

Michael Duncan,science teacher; Timothy Guilfoyle, biology teacher; John Conway, social studies teacher;and Ashnee Young, media assistant; Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology - $4,000 to fund the Brainworks! program designed to explore how the human brain interprets the world. 

Andrew Knoblich, career development teacher, Ardrey Kell High School - $5,000 to fund Diversity Dinner Dialogues designed to increase student cultural proficiency, critical thinking and communication skills via open discussions and multicultural reading selections.

Eboné Lockett, English teacher, Cato Middle College High School - $5,000 to fund the “Harvest Humanity” project, an intercultural experiential learning project that includes youth forums hosted at various schools, travel abroad and a culminating multicultural community celebration. 

Donald Nagel, social studies teacher and arts director, Northwest School of the Arts - $5,000 to fund a trip for all students in grades 6-8 to the Charlotte Symphony’s “Groove Rhythm of Life & Rhythm in Life” curriculum-based educational concert.

Lauren Schultz, media coordinator,and Josh Kranish, instructional technology facilitator, Independence High School - $5,000 to fund the implementation of the Google Expeditions program, which includes virtual reality technology that allows students to virtually visit museums, historic landmarks and outer space without leaving the classroom.

Through the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Foundation, the Hornets and FOX Sports Southeast will award a total of $250,000 in Teacher Innovation Fund grants to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teachers from 2014-2017.  This is the fifth cycle of grants distributed.  The organizations have previously awarded a total of $150,900 to 39 teachers.

“We continue to be inspired by the educators who are deeply committed to making a difference in the classroom and community,” said Jeff Genthner, Senior Vice President and General Manager for FOX Sports Southeast. “Fox Sports is proud to continue our partnership with the Hornets in creating the Teacher Innovation Fund which supports teachers throughout Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools with greater resources and educational experiences for their students."

“The Teacher Innovation Fund continues to be an outstanding opportunity to invest in our teachers and the innovative ways they are inspiring student engagement and achievement,” said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Ann Clark. “We are excited about the seven new grant-funded opportunities and grateful to the Charlotte Hornets for inspiring and recognizing our best teachers.”