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$1,250,000 grant celebrated at Freedom

$1,250,000 grant celebrated at Freedom

The Waynesville R-VI School District celebrated the receipt of a $1,250,000  grant – one of the largest in the district’s history – from the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) Friday morning at Freedom Elementary with fourth and fifth graders and dignitaries present for the event.

Col. Thomas Duncan II, the Assistant Commandant of the U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear School at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., served as the keynote speaker, along with Missouri Military Advocate Joe Driskill.

“Our students will benefit throughout their lifetime from the opportunities this grant will afford them,” said Dr. Brian Henry, superintendent. “As both Col. Duncan and Mr. Driskill noted, studying science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) will benefit students as they prepare for multiple careers. It’s obvious that our students are interested in these fields by their attentiveness during the celebration today.”

The DoDEA grant will help fund Waynesville R-VI’s Project EDGE (Educating our Digital Generation Effectively) through May 2023 and provide:

- robotics and coding clubs at

  multiple grade levels.

- STEM-focused classrooms

- virtual learning classrooms

- personalized learning paths

  online using the Edmentum

  Learning Platform

More than three-fourths of Waynesville R-VI students are military impacted.

“The problem-solving skills that students learn through these grant-funded programs are portable; students will learn how to think through situations and develop solutions,” Henry said. “This grant’s impact will be far-reaching because as our military students move away, they will take the skills with them.”

Students, including members of the Leaping Legos team and members of the VEX Robotics Team at WHS, demonstrated their robotics projects and talked about the problems they work to solve. The LEAP teachers are Laura Storie, Vicki Thomas and Amanda Starnes; Nick Parmley coaches the VEX Robotic Team.

Dr. Trish Adkins, assistant superintendent of instructional services, authored the grant. Tina Rowden will serve as the project director for the grant and Courtney Long, the director of community resources and grant management, will help oversee its implementation.

Dignitaries attending the event included Col. Thomas Duncan II, Missouri Military Advocate Joe Driskill, St. Robert Mayor Dr. George Lauritson, Waynesville Mayor Luge Hardman, Fort Leonard Wood Deputy Garrison Commander Kathy Aydt, Rachel Gilroy for Rep. Vicky Hartzler, Freedom Elementary’s PIE Partners, the 169th Engineer Battalion and the U.S. Navy Detachment, Kent Thomas and Dorsey Newcomb of LWI, and the following members of the Waynesville R-VI Board of Education: Treasurer Dan Deering, Mike Keeling and Janet Crider.

In addition to those already named above, the following district administrators attended: Hilary Bales, assistant superintendent of personnel services, and Dr. Chris Berger, assistant superintendent of operational services.

A special thanks to Freedom Elementary and their leadership team and staff for providing support for today’s celebration, Tim Wallace for developing a video to explain the DoDEA grant and the Waynesville High School Jazz Band, under the direction of Jim Stockmann, for providing music before and after the event.


"Issued November 30, 2018"

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