A+ Education Foundation awards $85,000 in grants to 92 area educators

AUSTIN, TX (July 21, 2017) — The A+ Education Foundation, a philanthropic arm of A+ Federal Credit Union (A+FCU), continues its commitment to education by awarding over $85,000 in grants to 92 Central Texas educators.

Started in 2005, the A+ Education Foundation has awarded 822 educators with over $757,000 in grants to fund innovative, inspiring, and engaging programs in their schools.

“Since its inception, the A+ Education Foundation has provided grants to educators for programs that enhance their teaching and the students’ learning experiences,” said Kerry A.S. Parker, A+ Education Foundation President. “We continue to be impressed by the submissions and are honored to support educators who encourage student learning with hands-on, interactive programs.”

This year’s winning submissions include:

  • Creating an innovation lab with robotics, technology, programming, and engineering for elementary school students
  • Developing a Makerspace – a collaborative space for students to enrich learning with tools and equipment for school projects
  • Implementing a coding program for first graders
  • Building green spaces throughout the school to help students improve attention and working memory
  • Providing 3-D Virtual Reality Devices for students to take virtual field trips
  • Installing a Little Free Library on campus for students and community members to use
  • Providing parent coaching to parents of children with autism
  • Students refurbishing retired/donated computers to give to students who do not have access to computer at home

Kate Loftis Memorial Education Grant Winner

The 2017 recipient of the Kate Loftis Memorial Education Grant, awarded on behalf of Dennis and Cindy Loftis, is Lisa Wenske from Clayton Elementary School in Austin Independent School District (AISD) for her program titled Supporting First Grade Readers and Technology Users.

Kate Loftis, born January 31, 1900, was a life-long teacher who obtained her teaching certificate from what is now Texas State University. At age 20, Loftis began teaching in schools around Travis County until her retirement in 1945. She then began teaching veterans returning from World War II and continued teaching until her mid-90s, traveling from her care facility to a local elementary school to teach reading.

2017 Grant Recipients 

Recipient School District
Kathy Palomo Allan ES Austin ISD
Barbara Freeman Andrews ES Austin ISD
Pamela Calabrese Baranoff ES Austin ISD
Alan Stevens Boone ES Austin ISD
Suzanna Ammenheuser Casis ES Austin ISD
Lisa Wenske Clayton ES Austin ISD
Eric Roth Clayton ES Austin ISD
Kiel Kietlinski Crockett HS Austin ISD
Cindy St. John Fulmore MS Austin ISD
Stacey Smith Govalle ES Austin ISD
Maitri Shah Hill ES Austin ISD
Thelma Herrera Mathews ES Austin ISD
Claudia Neal Mathews ES Austin ISD
Diana McMillan Mathews ES Austin ISD
Stacey Underwood Oak Hill ES Austin ISD
Alexandra Tarpley Oak Hill ES Austin ISD
Yolanda Faulkner Oak Hill ES Austin ISD
Jackie Grotrian Oak Hill ES Austin ISD
Monica Garcia Oak Hill ES Austin ISD
Christine Barre Oak Hill ES Austin ISD
Kerry Osio Oak Hill ES Austin ISD
Tiffany De La Rosa Oak Hill ES Austin ISD
Maureen Hamburger-Bishop Oak Hill ES Austin ISD
Renae Hernandez Oak Hill ES Austin ISD
Lori Komassa Oak Hill ES Austin ISD
Alma Cabrera Oak Hill ES Austin ISD
Giovanna Rolls Oak Hill ES Austin ISD
Kathi Peterka Oak Hill ES Austin ISD
Rachel Pacheco Ortega ES Austin ISD
Alejandra Mireles Ortega ES Austin ISD
Maureen Freeman Travis Heights ES Austin ISD
Stacey Shapiro Zilker ES Austin ISD
Heather Huffman Bluebonnet ES Bastrop ISD
Deanna Bodine Emile ES Bastrop ISD
Celia Zavala Lost Pines ES Bastrop ISD
Sara Franco Mina ES Bastrop ISD
Abbey Smart Sycamore Springs ES Dripping Springs ISD
Susan Carter Pickett ES Georgetown ISD
Lynette Haas Frost ES Georgetown ISD
Heather Castro Mitchell ES Georgetown ISD
Carla Ransom Harmony Science Academy Harmony Public Schools
Debra Flynn Lehman HS Hays CISD
Staci Perkins Science Hall ES Hays CISD
Melissa Ivicic Tobias ES Hays CISD
Kelly Hong Cottonwood Creek ES Hutto ISD
Angela Hartman Hutto MS Hutto ISD
Sharon Case Ray ES Hutto ISD
Roxanna Soto Bagdad ES Leander ISD
Stephanie Honeycutt Block House Creek ES Leander ISD
Linda Hagen Cedar Park MS Leander ISD
Deeana Rosiles Rutledge ES Leander ISD
Rebecca Rainey Steiner Ranch ES Leander ISD
Jacquetta Thayer Glenn HS Leander ISD
Linda Zarsky Winkley ES Leander ISD
Dana Goerner Lexington HS Lexington ISD
Misty Hinckley Clear Fork ES Lockhart ISD
Valerie Barnes Oak Meadows ES Manor ISD
Ronald Cintron Oak Meadows ES Manor ISD
Jean Chambers Hendrickson HS Pflugerville ISD
David Mallon Hendrickson HS Pflugerville ISD
Marsha Munoz Highland Park ES Pflugerville ISD
Julianne Bamford Canyon Creek ES Round Rock ISD
Jessica Cheyney Double File Trail ES Round Rock ISD
Ginna Hill Fern Bluff ES Round Rock ISD
Pam Arnold Forest Creek ES Round Rock ISD
Amie Schultze Forest Creek ES Round Rock ISD
Sheila Garcia Forest Creek ES Round Rock ISD
Deena Wolff Great Oaks ES Round Rock ISD
Jenny Weaver Great Oaks ES Round Rock ISD
Diane Hance Grisham MS Round Rock ISD
Marilyn Petkovsek Grisham MS Round Rock ISD
Sheryl Rank Grisham MS Round Rock ISD
Kristie Campo Johnson ES Round Rock ISD
Tiffany Pelzel Johnson ES Round Rock ISD
Marci Shrull Laurel Mountain ES Round Rock ISD
Trish Prentice Laurel Mountain ES Round Rock ISD
Lisa Ferriola Laurel Mountain ES Round Rock ISD
Shannon Sieber Pearson Ranch MS Round Rock ISD
Emily Thurman Purple Sage ES Round Rock ISD
Ellen Lukasik Success HS Round Rock ISD
Priscilla Delgado Bowie ES San Marcos CISD
Carrie Hutchins Bowie ES & Goodnight MS San Marcos CISD
Diana Garcia De Zavala ES San Marcos CISD
Oli Ponce De Zavala ES San Marcos CISD
Tiffany Gentry Goodnight MS San Marcos CISD
Caitlin Ripley Goodnight MS San Marcos CISD
Kim Morgan-Benson Hernandez ES San Marcos CISD
Jennifer Walston Mendez ES San Marcos CISD
Yvonne Rodriguez Mendez ES San Marcos CISD
Russell Krummell San Marcos HS San Marcos CISD
Samuel Parrott AJ Briesemeister MS Seguin ISD
Michael Caudill Brown Primary School Smithville ISD
Contact: Brandy Ward

About A+ Federal Credit Union

A+ Federal Credit Union was founded in 1949 by 50 Austin, Texas teachers. Over seventy years later, A+FCU has over 168,000 members throughout the community, with over $1.9 billion in assets, over 460 employees, and 22 branches. A+FCU continues to have close relationships with local schools and provides free financial education curricula for educators, engaging financial education presentations for students, real-life money management simulations for youth, high school branch locations, and unique financial products designed for teachers. Learn more at


Lauren Kelly
AVP Marketing
512.302.6814 |

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