2023 Bright Ideas Grants awarded

Launching into Newton’s second law of motion, creating an online newspaper, teaching students about environmental stewardship and learning the trigonometric functions of the heart are just some of the many opportunities offered to area students through projects funded by CAEC’s Bright Ideas Grant Program in 2023.

The Bright Ideas Grant Program was introduced more than 20 years ago with a goal of supporting innovative, interesting and effective initiatives that school funding does not usually cover. Grants help enhance teachers’ efforts and are awarded to individuals or teams in public, private and home schools within CAEC’s service area.

Applications were reviewed by a panel of judges from local community associations. They awarded over $25,000 in grants to 30 projects across 24 different schools, benefiting over 4,000 students within six counties in CAEC’s service area.

“I cannot express how truly thankful we are to have such dedicated individuals instructing and influencing the future leaders and workforce of our communities,” said CAEC President and CEO Tom Stackhouse. “We are honored to provide assistance to our educators who work persistently to impact all students by providing them the tools they need to be successful as well as instilling in them the desire for a lifetime of learning. You all are heroes, and we are incredibly thankful to be able to award these funds to you.” 

To date, CAEC has awarded $376,000 to local schools through the program, benefiting more than 130,000 students across all grade levels and content areas. The application process for 2024 Bright Ideas Grants will begin this September.

The 2023 recipients are:

Autauga County: Ally Moscona of Autauga Academy; Gylendora Davis and Kayla Atchison of Billingsley School; Dana O’Brian of Marbury Middle School; Natalie Warren and Steve Weedon of Prattville High School; Jennifer Griffiths of Prattville Kindergarten; and Debbie Langham of Prattville Primary School.

Bibb County: Wendy Argo from Cahawba Christian Academy

Chilton County: Bridgette Sullivan and Katie Hayes of Chilton Christian Academy; Angela Tignor of Chilton County High School; Aimee Dobbs, Anna Blackmon, Libby Coburn, Sonya Henley, Paige Johnson, Brenda Moates, Whitney Morgan, Traci Pitts, Hannah Thrash and Tanya Wilson of Clanton Intermediate; Macey Gentry, Chrissie Bashaw, Betsy Porter, Tiffany Shannon and Lisa Short of Jemison Elementary School; and Ronnie Holsombeck of Jemison High School.

Coosa County: Elizabeth Milhan, Kristie Wallace and Kristin Sanders from Coosa County Homeschool Co-op at Poplar Point Camp

Elmore County: Mary Ann Drost of Eclectic Elementary; Joanne Wells of Eclectic Middle School; Julie Powell of Elmore County High School; Michael Miller and Allen Meadows of Elmore County Technical Center; Carrie Courreges and Teresa Lawrence of Holtville Elementary School; Stephanie Harrison and Kelli Watkins of Holtville High School; Carrie Alvarenga and Emily Smith of Millbrook Middle School; Angela Bryant, Lisa Hardman and Cindy Peavy of Prattville Christian Academy; Shannon Hughes, Kelley Fuller and Kristy Shaw of Wetumpka Elementary; and Kristy Milam and Virginia Vilardi of Wetumpka High School.

Talladega County: Mary Ella Pearson, Marteika Chatman, Amy Crow, Misty Gallman, Veronica Jacobs and Megan Johnson from Salter Elementary