Education Foundation » Etrain


Tomball Education Foundation Awards $51,043 in Grants Across 10 Campuses


TOMBALL – Tomball ISD educators at 10 different campuses had their education dreams come true when the Tomball Education Foundation awarded the worthy educators with a combined $51,043 in grants to be used on innovative projects they submitted through the process.


The Tomball Education Foundation provides funds for educational projects and activities that are beyond traditional funding. Funds are used to facilitate student achievement and skill development, recognize and encourage staff excellence, and expand community involvement from individuals, businesses and civic organizations.



The Tomball Education Foundation, founded in 2017, is an independent, non-profit corporation established by parents, local businesses, civic organizations, alumni and community leaders to make a positive impact on public education. The Foundation is governed by a board of directors who represent a cross-section of the community and have a sincere interest in the Tomball Independent School District's students and their success.


Congratulations to our grant recipients.


The first stop on the Etrain was Timber Creek Elementary School where the Tomball Education Foundation directors surprised Kristin Shockley with a $4,522 grant for her interactive learning experiences, specifically for the use of the Osmo Genius Kits to enhance student engagement.



The celebration continued at Creekview Elementary, awarding a $4,500 grant to Stephanie Scott for Authors & Architects, an enhancement to the GT program. The program will allow students to research a high interest topic of choice then take the information from their research to write, illustrate, and publish a nonfiction children's book. Students will then use the 3D printer to design and build a model reflective of an important concept from their research.



The Education Foundation then headed to its first secondary campus of the day to award THS journalism teacher Jerry Fordyce $1,805 for an iMac computer that will support learning in his Digital Media program and help elevate the teaching of video editing, photo editing, page design, and podcasting/audio editing.



Steps away, the train arrived at Tomball Junior High to greet Cynthia Thurnau-Duffy with a $3,080 grant that will support a tower garden to grow healthy veggies for her PALS class. This project will help students evaluate and change students’ eating habits by trying new foods they have helped grow. This real-world experience will be personally valuable to these students and will improve overall student performance through better nutrition.



Connections Academy’s Jennifer McCready was awarded $5,000 for “One Breath at a Time – Dynamic Mindfulness” training that will allow students to learn how the Mindful ABCs impact stress resilience, self-management, and responsible decision-making. All students will participate daily during proactive, scheduled group sessions, prescriptive classroom sessions, and/or individually. 



The Etrain continued into Tomball Memorial High and found David Monroe, who was surprised with a $960 grant that will help support his Computer Science UIL and Robotics Initiative and improve TMHS’ technology.



The train returned to the elementary level with its next stop being Wildwood Elementary where $1,436 was awarded to Ramona Villarreal to support early literacy through reading and spelling practices.



The eighth stop of the day was Willow Creek Elementary where a $1,609 grant was awarded to Roseann Miller, accepting on behalf of the entire second grade team for the purchase of the Ozobot, a learning robot that helps teach basic coding and that opens the doors of computer science, STEAM education (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics), robotics and coding for all students.



Willow Wood Junior High’s Brandon Batchelor was awarded $1,050 from the Tomball Education Foundation for a Pear Deck to support student-led learning. Peardeck is a program that allows teachers to integrate seamlessly with student's immediate feedback on a 1 to 1 basis during lessons.



The Etrain, featuring the Tomball Education Foundation, made its final stop at Lakewood Elementary where a total of $27,081 was awarded between nine grants.


  • Kristi Donald was awarded a grant of $4,959 for a smart board table to reinforce and help teach math concepts as students move through the levels of concrete to abstract.


  • Annette Hall, accepted on behalf of the LES 1st grade team, was awarded $3,560 for supporting fully-engaged learners through STEAM. All learners will be engaged in science, technology, math, and art. Students can extend and refine their fact proficiency and practice phonics through the use of hands-on manipulatives and technology. They will also be able to express their artistic capabilities, and problem-solving skills will be developed as well. This will all take place with the use of iPads and the Osmos program.


  • Jennifer Brough earned a $3,211 grant to elevate the math & readers workshop and student-driven learning with the use of the Osmo program, which will also enhance technology in the classroom.


  • Elizabeth Castille was surprised with a $3,180 grant for headsets for academic language video stations. Teachers will pose questions to students that would require an oral answer that can be rehearsed, recorded, and turned in to the teacher through Google Classroom. 


  • Laurie Taylor was awarded a grant for $2,930 to support Project Based Learning, specifically growing our young readers in the district.


  • Kelly McNickle earned a $3,628 grant to support motion animation in the classroom. This innovative learning tool will also challenge the imagination, foster reflective thinking, and develop disciplined effort and problem-solving skills.


  • Leialoha Van Patter’s proposal earned her a grant of $2,188 for an LED light panel to support all students. This will support non-verbal students as they will receive immediate reinforcement for using their words. This panel will also assist the more verbal students lengthen their sentences and work on sentence structure.


  • Darra Reynolds was surprised with a $1,050 grant for Social Emotional Learning to enhance Restorative Practice, also known as Sharing Circles and Great Expectations practices.


  • Mary Lowrey was awarded $2,375 for scanner reader pens to support “Read Smarter, Not Harder” program. These pens will assist students with identified reading challenges to be more independent when reading text as well as well as allow students to access reading materials in the format provided in the classroom.