Grants Awarded Graphic

During their September 13 meeting, our Board of Education celebrated the FMS educators that were awarded a total of 17 thousand dollars in mini-grants from funds raised by the Foundation for Educational Excellence. Huge shout-out to our educators for thinking ahead and investing in projects that will enhance the education of our students. Huge thanks to the Foundation for Educational Excellence for their tireless work and fun events that year after year fund improvements to education in Farmington Municipal Schools.

The following exciting projects are coming to our schools:

Jerome Jones (Farmington High School) will invest $900 in Zoology Lab Supplies.

Zoology is a brand new course at Farmington High School that will help to educate students on animals of all types. It's a great course for those interested in veterinary jobs or in wildlife management, and because it's a brand new course, we are in desperate need of supplies. The grant will cover 16 projects/labs for the whole year! My goal is to help educate students about the wildlife around us, teach them about anatomy, and stimulate curiosity for life.

Kelly Hanon (Preschool Academies) will invest $653 in “Book Buddy” and “My Big World.”

“Book Buddy” is a project designed to provide students with a rotating home library. Students select and take home a variety of books (of their choice) in sets of five. Families will also fill out a weekly “Book Buddy Comment Card.” Students will have an opportunity for multiple reads (in both fiction and non-fiction texts) and overall, love reading!

“My Big World” is a project that will provide students and their families with a monthly non-fiction interactive magazine (print & digital). Students and families will have this resource to extend classroom topics at home to deepen and support their understanding of classroom thematic units.

I will educate and assist families to support and deepen their child’s literacy skills, social development, motor skills, and phonological awareness using developmentally appropriate practices (and utilizing “My Big World Magazine” as a guide).

Haleigh Bassing (Piedra Vista High School) will invest $2,500 in Film Making Drones for 9-12 Grades. 

The main goal of this grant is to expose our students to the careers available when you receive your drone pilot's license and how many job opportunities there are when you can fly a drone. A second objective is for students to understand how technology is advancing, and how drones are replacing cranes in the filmmaking industry.

Lisa Hawkins (Esperanza Elementary School) will invest $1,000 in the Growing Hope Garden. 

I would like to continue building our garden and growing projects. We will have an indoor salad garden. Outside, I would like to plant five fruit trees to provide food and share in our outdoor learning area. During the school year, we can grow Fall and Spring vegetables, as well as flowers. A garden is based around inquiry. The students could watch the trees grow over the next several years until they are able to produce fruit. This year, the garden will encourage students to ask questions about how long the plants would grow? When can we eat them? What will the plants look like? The science portion of this involves the scientific process. With literacy, we can read books with students about how plants grow. Professionally, I would seek advice from the county extension office as well as local nurseries.

John Boyd (Piedra Vista High School) will invest $1,000 in a Coronado PST Solar Telescope.

I would like to purchase a Hydrogen Alpha Solar Telescope for my AP Environmental Science and Earth and Space Science classes next year. Students will see sunspots, flares, and prominences on the sun with their own eyes. The goal is to provide a greater understanding of telescopes and the sun by directly observing these bodies with a solar telescope.

Cody Jackson (Heights Middle School) will invest $1,500 in Music Composition Commission.

This is a music educational endeavor for the band program at Heights to have a local music composer write an original piece of music for Heights Middle School Bands. The composer's name is Kirk Vogel. Although he currently resides in northern Colorado, he is very familiar with the Four Corners region having lived and taught in Bayfield many years ago. The composition would be premiered by the Heights Middle School Band students in the Spring 2023 semester. After the premiere, the composition would then become available to the entire world for performance, and dedicated to the history of music excellence in the band program at Heights over the last several decades. Additionally, the composer himself would travel to our campus and work with the students in person on the composition near the premiere. If enough funds are available, we may be able to also have him travel to other area schools as well as a clinician and composer-in-residence. He would share and educate our students on music composition and all that it entails.

The goal of the music composition commission project is to provide students with an opportunity to learn from a living music composer and to give them a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to premiere a piece of music. An additional benefit to the project is the promotion of excellence in music to the greater world such that when future band teachers across the world potentially select the piece of music, they'll get to see that the piece was dedicated to Heights Middle School!

Gretchen Greer (Farmington High School) will invest $3,000 in Vex Robotics Competition - Spin Up.

The Farmington High School Robotics Club would like to increase participation in Vex Robotics Competition events by recruiting more students and also by working to host a competition locally. The mini-grant will be invested in purchasing additional Vex Components to support two robots and the official field of play for the 2022-2023 Spin Up Competition Season.

Competing in this contest helps students apply lessons from across the curriculum; science, technology, engineering, math, English, etc. Working within the established structure of this Vex Robotics Competition students are challenged to work together to solve problems, use the scientific method and analyze the data from trials, revise their efforts, and improve over time. Students gain confidence and experience from each event with persistence and develop pride in their accomplishments. They will share their work and encourage future students to participate.

Kate Malone (Piedra Vista High School) will $1,030 in Canyon Dreams.

ELA 11 students will read sections of Michael Powell’s “Canyon Dreams” during the second quarter to develop their rhetorical analysis skills and as a model for informative/explanatory writing. Powell has been a journalist for both the Washington Post and the New York Times. To research Canyon Dreams, Powell lived in Chinle, Arizona, and followed the boys basketball team. We have selected this text for the ELA 11th grade students because of the engaging, journalistic writing, and the focus on Navajo culture and teen sports.

Students will be able to read a text that focuses on the Navajo culture, one of the major cultures in our school. Students will be engaged because the text focuses on high school students and high school sports, so all juniors will see themselves in this text. Finally, students will have a model of journalistic writing that focuses on topics that are of interest to them.

Amy Hutchison (Farmington High School) will invest $1,500 in Anatomy & Physiology Lab Materials.

The goal of this grant is to attain funding for instructional labs for the course Anatomy and Physiology. The grant will allow my students to view and experience the structure and function of human body systems. These labs will reinforce the science standards associated with the Anatomy and Physiology curriculum.

Benjamin Ludwig (Hermosa Middle School) will invest $1,000 in a Drum Set and Supplies for The Hermosa Band Program. 

I have worked at Hermosa for three years and each year my goal is to add instruments and supplies necessary to sustain and build the Hermosa band and orchestra programs. This year we played a number of songs that asked for a drum set, which we do not have. After that experience, I realized getting a drum set for the band room would be a sensible and useful purchase. The drum set will give the Hermosa bands the ability to play a wider range of literature. It would also leave open the possibility for a jazz band program in the future.

Travis Jensen (Piedra Vista High School) will invest $1,200 in Painting Help.

I am starting a new class at Piedra Vista. We will need help with supplies and fixtures for the class, like easels. I am looking to get a classroom set of 28. With the easels, we will be able to work upright when we are painting in class, as well as be able to transport outside for open-air painting. The student work will be shown at the annual Local High School Student Art Show in March.

Kolbe Williams (Farmington High School) will invest $1,000 in the Stitch and Go Design Project.

The students are learning how to sew and make their own clothing. Students will learn to use different types of stitching techniques to create clothing for themselves and/or repair clothing they currently own from patterns to wearable pieces. Through the Stitch and Go Design Project, students will attain valuable life skills to help themselves and their families currently and contribute to potential future career possibilities.

Aaron Lucero (Piedra Vista High School) will invest $750 in Project Bike Tech supplies.

In “Project Bike Tech” we are learning how to mechanic on bikes and gain recognized industry certifications and training. We need to purchase supplies and replacement parts, including older bikes for repair. The project will enhance learning and technical skills, including community service and getting more Farmington kids on bikes. I would like to give bikes away to children without the ability to have their own, as well.


The Mini-Grants and Performing Arts Grants Recipients were presented by Dave Dailey and Tina Pacheco, of the Foundation for Educational Excellence. For more about the foundation and the fundraising events that will make these projects possible, visit: