Funded Projects

LoCoDrone Curriculum

Heath Mueller – Vernon Middle School
With the new Loco Drone curriculum, 8th grade students will have the opportunity to combine their learned middle school technology skills of hardware and coding, working with a partner to build and fly their own drone.


Health and Wellness Team – Marion Independent School District
Grant funding will support the initial subscription fee and two pilot years of the FitnessGram software for all schools, helping wellness programs further support student fitness and promote healthy habits that will last well into the future.

Robotics Upgrades

Chris Martin – Marion High School
The Robotics Club received grant funds to purchase updated electronics systems, connecting student members to the materials they need while they learn technical skills, creativity and teamwork.

Social Skills Library

Dixie Recker – Starry Elementary
The library and counseling office at Starry received funding to purchase an assortment of books that relate to social-emotional learning topics.

Xylophone Stand

Lauren Cutler – Longfellow Elementary
A height-adjustable stand on wheels will be added to the Longfellow music room xylophone, meeting the needs of students with disabilities and those of varying heights.

MISD Summer Institute

Instructional Coaches – Marion Independent School District
Grant funding will support raffle giveaways at the MISD Summer Institute (postponed to 2021). Prizes will relate to the learning topics covered during staff professional development sessions and are for classroom use.



Flexible seating for kindergarteners

Allison Beckner, Jen O’Brien, & Eric Hauschildt – Longfellow Elementary
The days of students sitting in desks lined up in straight rows to learn at school all day are long gone.  To better meet the sensory and learning needs of today’s students the Kindergarten teachers came together to seek funding for bean bag chairs, lap desks, wobble cushions, and more so that students can have a variety of seating choices during large group learning, small group learning, and center time.

imagine an imagination library in marion

Dr. Janelle Brouwer – Marion Independent School District
Norah Hammond – Marion Public Library
The Marion Public Library partnered with Superintendent Brouwer to seek funding to bring the Dolly Parton Imagination Library to Marion.  This program will be available to all children ages 0-5 in the 52302 zip code and will enable them to receive 1 free book per month mailed directly to their home—at no cost!

Ergonomic Additions to Enhance the Blended Learning Environment

Dana Phillips & Stephanie Roberts – Vernon Middle School
As the blended learning initiative continues to expand at MISD, teachers continue to find ways to help their students work in various settings from large group to stations to small group and much more.  Flexible and comfortable seating in the form of wobble chairs were purchased to help the students focus during various learning activities.

Real Care Babies

Sandee Wolfe-Kerker – Vernon Middle School
Does anyone really know what it is like to have to care for a baby before caring for an actual baby?  The 8th grade students at Vernon will now be able to have a better experience in learning what caring for baby is like with a set of 5 new Real Care babies.  The interactive dolls are equipped with sensors to detect student’s interactions with feedings, clothing changes, diaper changes, and even how long the baby sat in a car seat.

Sight Word Proficiency

1st Grade Teachers – Longfellow Elementary & Starry Elementary
For that student who can’t “sit still” in their seat—help is on the way.  Wobble chairs, ergo stools, and stability balls are just a few of the new options that are coming for those students who need to be able to move around while still staying at their desk.

College for Kids Scholarships

Susie Green – Grant Wood Area Education Agency
Grant Wood AEA’s College for Kids is a summer program offering advanced level academic and fine arts courses in the college setting to eligible talented and gifted students who have completed 6th, 7th, or 8th grade.  Through the College for Kids experience, students are offered advanced or specialized curricula, and have the opportunity to further explore a hobby or a topic of interest not typically available in middle school general education.  Through funding, scholarships are available to all Vernon Middle School students that attend College for Kids.

Piano Upgrade

Kari Scherbring – Vernon Middle School
While some of the advanced features will be missed, the quality of the sound will be vastly improved as the Vernon Choir Department upgrades from a digital piano to a Yamaha acoustic piano.  While having a deeply improved auditory experience with the new piano students will also be able to get a better understanding of the anatomy of a piano and see how the sound can actually resonate from the hammers hitting the strings.

Student Seeking Science Demos—Part 2

Becky Knudson – Vernon Middle School
Now that the students can see the labs and demonstrations in science class after funding was provided last year for a Demo table equipped with mirror, they will now have a cabinet with better storage.  Funding was provided to purchase a matching storage cabinet where students will have individualized trays that can store lab materials for each of the various experiments done during class.

MISD Band Instrument Tuners

David Anderson & Jennifer Adams – Vernon Middle School
Logan Vander Wiel – Marion High School
Before the entire band comes together to play at a performance each musician must personally tune their own instrument.  Through grant funding, the middle school and high school bands have been outfitted with a set of just over 100 portable tuners that can be attached to an individual instrument so that each player can complete their own tuning in real-time as the band is warming up and during rehearsal.

Literacy in World Language

Abby Wennekamp & Liz Henkel – Marion High School
As foreign language continues to be an important part of a student’s education the need for non-textbook materials for students to read continues to grow.  The high school Spanish teachers acquired grant funding to expand the collection of free reading books for all levels of Spanish to assist with the natural adoption of the language and to help more students to achieve the Seal of Biliteracy before graduation.

iHub Curriculum Supplies

Garrette Williams & Mitch Hewitt – Marion High School
The high school science department is pioneering a new curriculum this year that is placing emphasis on the NextGen Science Standards which focus on students learning the content in a new format—but it also requires many more lab components.  With grant funding the teachers were able to obtain a variety of lab items for the Botany, Zoology, Biology, Environmental Science, and Field Science courses.

Journalism, The Quill

Gretchen Mundorf – Marion High School
Gone are the days of just producing an annual yearbook and here are the days of creating a yearbook, a quarterly digital media publication, and expanding into more in-depth video publications.  The journalism team sought funding to upgrade their broadcasting room to a more professional environment which will include better seating so that it will match the quality of the work they produce.

Providing Tools for Our Future Workforce

Greg Semler – Marion High School
Emily Russ – Marion Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO)
In an effort to continue to develop career avenues for MHS students in the Skilled Trades, a welding certification program in partnership with Kirkwood Community College and Hupp Electric has been created.  With Hupp Electric supplying the highly skilled instructor, funding was pursued to help supply appropriate welding equipment including a new welder and safety gloves and helmets to allow the students to fully benefit from the certification program.

MHS Band Bass Clarinet

Logan Vander Wiel – Marion High School
As the high school band continues to grow in numbers, so does the need for instruments for all the musicians.  Faced with more bass clarinet players than bass clarinets, the program requested funding for a new Yamaha bass clarinet.  By replacing the worn out clarinet that had broken parts, pads that didn’t close, and pieces being held together with hair ties the sounds of the concert band, marching band, and jazz band will greatly improve.