School EmPOWERment Grants Boost Local Education


MONROE, Ga. – Most schools and teachers always face a nagging problem – not enough funding to provide the programs and materials they need to enhance instructional programs for their students.

Walton Electric Membership Corporation (EMC) has found a way to help with its School EmPOWERment Grant program. The cooperative just delivered checks totaling $290,065 to public and private schools all across its 10-county service area.

The money comes from unclaimed refunds. After exhausting all attempts to find the rightful owners, Georgia law allows the money to be used for education and other community improvements.

This year’s grants bring the all-time total awarded to almost $1.7 million.

2020 Walton EMC School EmPOWERment Grants Fast Facts

Total distribution: $290,065
Average grant: $4,329
Number of grants: 67
Schools receiving grants: 53
Total since beginning of program: $1,691,875
Source of money: unclaimed refunds

The grants by county are:

Barrow County

Barrow Arts and Sciences Academy
Cheryl Guy, Building the BASA Mindset – $7,000

Gwinnett County

Jeffrey Dunn, Thermal Energy and Electromagnetic Wave Unit – $1,850

Annistown Elementary
Andrea Varner, LaToya Burse, Full STEAM Ahead Toward Our Innovation Lab! – $5,959

Bay Creek Middle
Doug Doblar, Bringing Math and Science to Life and Together – $8,840

Brookwood High
Stephen Beall, Electric Vehicles – $7,750
Allison Crawford, Shaynna Aponte, Creative Writing

Program – $4,480

Cooper Elementary
Aimee Litt, Community of Readers – $6,000

Five Forks Middle
Andrew Whatley, Collaborative Project-based Learning by 1:1 Chromebooks – $8,200

Grayson Elementary
Heather Abner, PBIS Book Vending Machine – $2,496

Grayson High
Jennifer DaSilva, Portable Lab Stations – $2,578

Harbins Elementary
Keith Connor, Improving Literacy Through PBIS – $4,115

Head Elementary
Shann Griffith, One Million Words and Beyond – $7,000

Pharr Elementary
Shawn Freeman, Microscopes and More – $2,179

R.L. Norton Elementary
Ryan Moore, Building a 1:1 Learning Environment with Chromebooks – $8,600

Rosebud Elementary
Kim Edge, Sensory Room – $5,200

Shiloh Elementary
Thomas Trippany, Eliminating Obstacles – $6,014

Shiloh High
C. Schrader, PBIS Incentives Catalog – $3,000

Starling Elementary
Ikwo Poindexter, Chrissy McFadden, Continued Excellence in Technology Integration – $5,000

Trickum Middle
Veronica Ingram, CHiSL 365, $1,000

Trip Elementary
Jennifer Hicks, Books to Promote Positive Behavior – $4,590
Vanita McGough, Debbie Patrick, Making Education SPECIAL! – $3,200

Morgan County

Morgan County Elementary
Katherine Edwards, Stop Summer Slide! – $1,000

Morgan County High
Alec Johnson, Starry Night at MCHS – $3,060
Benjamin Coody, Tiny Home Project – $5,000

Morgan County Middle
Kathleen Bryant, Advancing Technical Theater Proficiencies – $1,500

Morgan County Primary
Jennifer Haynes, Clean and Clear Eyes – $717

Oconee County

Athens Academy
Sarah Powers, Representation Matters – $5,000

Colham Ferry Elementary
Miriam Shook, Leigh Anne Shore, Book Vending Machine – $4,120
Lynsey Thomas, Lauren Lee, STEM Sensory Paths – $900

Dove Creek Elementary
Brittany Breiner, Building a Book Room for Diverse Readers – $6,500

Malcom Bridge Elementary
Sarah Ackerman, Literacy Footprints Guided Reading – $7,493
Jennifer Quattlebaum, Short Books for Beginning Readers – $2,294
Susan Smith, Amp Up the Eagles! – $1,998

Malcom Bridge Middle
Brandon Walker, School Instructional Greenhouse Update – $6,900

North Oconee High
Clay McElheny, Geared to Engineer – $3,875

Oconee County Elementary
Stephanie Dickens, Got Problems? – $3,057
Heather Watkins, Increasing Student Engagement Through STEM Bins – $1,000

Oconee County High
Bess Carter, Bringing Graphic Design to the Art Room – $7,800
Bradley Sayers, Drone Racing League – $3,000

Oconee County Primary
Beth Page, Jamie Evans, OCPS Poster Color Printer – $3,500
Lori Mauldin, Stephanie Bennewitz, Alana Stanton, Leveled Reading Room Book Expansion – $1,927

Prince Avenue Christian
LaMurl Morris, Chairs for Musicians – $4,000

Rocky Branch Elementary
Jennifer Mitchem, Parent Resource Room – $1,041

Westminster Christian Academy
Jared Clark, iPads – $4,500

Walton County

Atha Road Elementary
Courtney Cuneio, Audiobooks to Improve Reading – $998

Bay Creek Elementary
Will Casada, Uke Can Play Ukulele! – $2,392
Amy Anderson, Engage and Empower for Success – $2,050

Carver Middle
Tally Cown, PBIS Rewards – $5,000

George Walton Academy
Kellie Watts, High School Physics Lab Equipment – $6,080
Janet Bishop, STEM Foundations and Improvements Campaign – $6,731

grant presentationHarmony Elementary
Katherine Woods, Ashley Rabon, Supporting Readers and Building Leaders – $8,600

Loganville Christian Academy
Sherry Morris, Vex Robot Replacements – $7,000

Loganville Elementary School
Selena Hale, STEM Lab: Let’s Explore! – $7,656

Loganville High School
Kristina Hobbs, Visual Arts Room Update – $5,300

Loganville Middle School
Heather Wills, Inchy the Bookworm Vending Machine and Books – $6,000

Monroe Area High
Sharon Crenshaw, Fine Arts Sound System – $7,552

Monroe Elementary
Zeester Swint, Little Free Library – $3,000

Sharon Elementary
Beth Morgan, Canon Large Format Printer – $3,600

Social Circle Elementary
Christina Lowe Bruce, Elly Bridgham, Picture It: Published Elementary Authors – $750
Kristi Boles, Discovery Education – $2,600

Social Circle Middle
Sandy Briscoe, Shhh…We’re Learning – $900

Walker Park Elementary
Alicia Burford, Eagles SOAR at the Park – $4,500

Walnut Grove Elementary
Kenneth Cline, Great Big Book Giveaway – $3,000
Kerri Brooks, Comfort and Joy – $5,000

Walnut Grove High
Chris Wheeler, Lego EV# Robot Kits – $6,599
Kelly Shaw, Agriculture Education Aquaponics System – $6,023

Youth Middle
Raymond Castleberry, YMS Recording Studio – $3,501

Walton EMC is a customer-owned power company that serves accounts over its 10-county service area between Atlanta and Athens, Ga. Its primary focus is providing exceptional service to its 133,000 residential, commercial and industrial customer-owner accounts while also caring for the area’s communities. Learn more at

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