News Releases

News Releases
Nebraska Teachers Receive Surprise Grants From Qwest Foundation

OMAHA, Neb., Dec. 17, 2008 – The Nebraska Department of Education and the Qwest Foundation will surprise four innovative, forward-thinking teachers in their classrooms on the morning of Dec. 17 as part of the Qwest Teachers and Technology grant program. More than 26 teachers across the state submitted proposals to implement technology in their classrooms, and five winners were selected. Each of the winning teachers will be awarded $10,000 to bring their programs to life in their elementary, middle and high school classes.


Rex Fisher, Qwest president of Nebraska, will surprise the following teachers in their classrooms with giant, oversized checks:


  • Lisa Thompson of Morton Middle School, who will enable students to direct and produce documentaries of their service learning projects as part of their Decision Science curriculum.
  • Diana Weis of Willa Cather Elementary, who will use the grant to fund a reading comprehension program for fourth and fifth graders that relies on handheld response devices and a suite of multimedia software applications.
  • Diane Adams of Meadows Elementary, who will implement interactive digital chalkboards and other electronic instruction tools to improve vocabulary and reading comprehension in a collaborative classroom structure.
  • Dr. Cherie Larson of Plattsmouth Community Schools will create a portable computer lab that will empower elementary students to solve complex mathematical problems pertaining to a variety of different subjects.


Jim Lukesh of the Nebraska Department of Education said, “I congratulate these teachers and thank them for being innovators in classroom learning. Teachers help lead students to new heights, and the integration of technology in the classroom is a vital aspect to inspiring success and achievement in math, science and language skills.” 


Through a competitive application process, the Qwest Teachers and Technology grant program rewards Nebraska kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers who use technology in their classrooms in new ways to improve student performance. 



“Technology can help make math, science and other important subjects more engaging and interactive, thereby fostering confidence and expanding opportunity,” said Fisher. “Qwest congratulates Nebraska’s teachers for preparing students to succeed in a high tech future.”  



Grant winners may use the funds to purchase equipment, software, supplies or to support professional development needed to advance the use of technology by students in their classrooms. The program is administered by the Nebraska Department of Education. Applications for the 2008 Teachers and Technology grant program were due in June. 


A separate check presentation of $10,000 was made earlier this month to Kylee Bruce, a music teacher of Wood River Public Schools for her proposal to create a music technology lab.

About the Qwest Foundation:

The Qwest Foundation’s core principle is that investing in education provides lasting value for the future. The Qwest Foundation awards grants to community-based programs that generate high-impact and measurable results, focusing on pre-K through grade 12 education.