KINGSPORT — Eastman Chemical Co. has awarded education grants to 29 teachers in seven local school systems through the company’s Putting Children First program.
The Kingsport-based company awarded grants during an awards ceremony Monday night to school systems in Bristol, Tenn., Hawkins County, Johnson City, Kingsport, Scott County, Sullivan County and Washington County, Tenn. Teachers from 24 schools received grants of $750 each.
The grants are intended to promote innovative classroom programs which improve student learning and performance. Categories include math and science. Putting Children First is a business and education partnership between Eastman and eight school systems in northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia serving more than 100 schools.
Initiated in 1992, the partnership provides the opportunity for educators and business to work together to improve public education, prepare students for the work force and enhance the community’s quality of life.
“Attracting, recruiting and retaining quality employees are continual goals for our company,” said Paul Montgomery, vice president of Community Relations for Eastman. “Finding top talent for tomorrow begins by developing talent in the classroom today. At Eastman, we see it as our responsibility to help teachers find the resources they need to become exemplary teachers with successful students.”
A team of judges, consisting of representatives from different school systems, along with an Eastman engineer reviewed the grant applications and selected the recipients. This is the 21st year Eastman has awarded the grants.
Math grant winners were Alison Slagle, from Anderson Elementary in Bristol, Tenn.; Misty Joyner, from Church Hill Elementary, and Faye Dolen, from Surgoinsville Middle; Lecretia Stephens from Fairmont Elementary, Lauren Fultz from Lake Ridge, and Victor Burk from Science Hill High School, in Johnson City; Amy Southerland, from Johnson Elementary, and Dr. Barbara Gamble, from Jackson Elementary in Kingsport; and Stephanie Miller from Colonial Heights Middle, and Jill Loven from Sullivan Central High School, in Sullivan County.
Science grant winners were Amanda Short, from Carters Valley Elementary, Jason Joyner from Church Hill Middle, William Royal from Clinch School, and Alyson Spirko from St. Clair Elementary in Hawkins County; Valerie Orfield from North Side Elementary, and Monica Hart from South Side Elementary in Johnson City; Kim Riffe from Jackson Elementary, Iva Rice, Marsha Buck, Hope Hall, Bill Francis from Ross N. Robinson Middle, and Sherri Thompson from Dobyns-Bennett High School, Kingsport; Sarah McConnell from Nickelsville Elementary, and Donna Rowlett from Gate City High School, Scott County; Kevin Armstrong from Ketron Elementary, and Jessica Carr from the Innovation Academy, Sullivan County; and Rachel Horn and Charles Rhoton from Daniel Boone High School, and Twana McKinney from David Crockett High School, Washington County.