Innovative Ideas Receive $mart Money in DoDEA Europe’s East District

by Department of Defense Education Activity Europe

The Department of Defense Dependents Education Europe East District Superintendent’s Office awarded more than $58,000 to support innovative teaching and learning models. $mart Money was conceived as a motivational agent to allow inspired educators to develop and implement innovative methods and practices for teaching and learning in their classrooms.

Dr. Liz Dunham, DoDEA Europe East District Super-intendent, earmarked funds to support the innovative goals of forward-thinking practitioners. The $mart Money initiative received applications from educators throughout the district to fund innovative learning projects that will positively impact student achievement. The projects and resources embrace creative approaches to meeting the interests and learning needs of students through a blend of innovative pedagogical approaches and 21st century resources. A total of 29 educators received the awards.

Awards in the KMC were presented to:

• Litoya Grant, Kaiserslautern Elementary School – Robotics and simple machines: Hands-on student experiences used as an instrument to achieve NextGen Science Standards.

• Allyson Allen, Kaiserslautern Middle School — Electronic dictionaries for ELA classroom to enable rapid investigation and assimilation of unknown words to improve learning experiences.

• Frances Waldrup, Ramstein Elementary School — STEM for the Kindergarten Classroom: STEM-related kits, games, design sets, etc. to provide early exposure to STEM concepts.

• Sheila Marksberry, Ramstein Elementary School — Flexible Seating that promotes vestibular input, natural movement and increased attention to support student achievement.

• Melissa Davis, Ramstein Intermediate School — Book Review Digital Display that showcases student-created book reviews to support CCR Literacy standards and stimulate student interest in new literature.

• Stacey Olson, Ramstein Intermediate School — Ozobots: hands-on robotics activities to develop teamwork, programming/coding skills and build student interest in STEM-related subjects.


• William Buckley, Ramstein Intermediate School — Flexible seating: Provides students with a variety of seating options to promote increased attention and facilitate student collaboration.

• Steven Rayburn, Ramstein Intermediate School — String Orchestra: Stringed instruments and equipment to generate, support and sustain student involvement in music and the arts.

• Cynthia Forwalder, Ramstein High School — Stealth Lunchtime Learning: A selection of logic and strategic thinking board games for post-lunch student use; supports problem solving and decision making.

• Glenn Porter, Ramstein High School — Environmental Club-managed receptacles to facilitate collection and separation of recyclables around campus in support of sustainable living practices.

• Lori Dean, Joe Plato, Amy Brault, Sembach Elementary School — Innovation Studio: Student-led learning and problem solving using Rigamajig design/engineering kits to enhance exposure to STEAM concepts.

• Sharon Kieta, Vogelweh Elementary School — School-based Yoga: Equipment and resources to implement a secular yoga program, teaching students mind-body awareness and improving fitness.

• Sharon Kieta, Vogelweh Elementary School — Growth Mindset Resources: Materials to teach students growth mindset strategies, promote resiliency and goal setting.

As a result of the funding, students across the Europe East District will benefit directly from the initiatives and Dr. Dunham is excited about the potential for both student and teacher engagement.

“We are very excited to nearly double the funding and number of educators selected for this year’s $mart Money program and it is a perfect complement to the continuing implementation of College and Career Ready standards.

The opportunity to challenge and engage students in new and innovative ways has the potential to directly impact student achievement,” said Dunham.

DoDEA plans, directs, coordinates, and manages pre-kindergarten through 12th grade education programs for school-age children of Department of Defense personnel who would otherwise not have access to high-quality public education. DoDEA schools are located in Europe, the Pacific, Western Asia, the Middle East, Cuba, the United States, Guam, and Puerto Rico. DoDEA also provides support and resources to local educational agencies throughout the United States that serve children of military families.