News Releases

News Releases
Qwest Provides $100,000 Grant to Support Arizona Teachers

Who and What:  For the fifth straight year, The Qwest Foundation and the Arizona Technology in Education Alliance (AzTEA) announced that the Qwest Foundation will provide $100,000 in grants for Arizona teachers who have developed creative ways to use technology to improve student learning. The first three recipients from the first round of proposals are from across the state including Pima County.


Where: Recipients will be announced and grants awarded at the 17th Annual Teaching and Technology Conference. The conference takes place at the Empire High School, 10701 E. Mary Ann Cleveland Way, Tucson, AZ.


When: Saturday, January 23, 2010, during the Qwest Awards Ceremony which takes place between 8:00-9:00am.  The second deadline for grant submissions is on February 17, 2010 and those grants will be awarded on March 16, 2010 at Arizona State University in Tempe.


Why: The purpose of the Qwest Foundation grant is to recognize Arizona K-12 public school teachers who are using technology in the classroom in new and innovative ways to improve student performance and to share this information so that others can do the same.


How: Applicants are asked to detail the goals of their project, as well as identify the hardware and software needed. Application information is available on AzTEA’s Web site at 

“This is a wonderful opportunity to inspire new and innovative ideas and share them with teachers across the state,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne. “In these times of tight education budgets, this provides a chance to support and highlight specific examples of how technology can be used to improve the outcome of the classroom experience.”


“Qwest has invested $500,000 in Arizona educators over the course of the last five years in order to positively impact students,” said Jim Campbell, Qwest president for Arizona. “We’re excited to continue our five-year relationship with AzTEA in order to explore the intersection of technology and teaching and to better equip students to compete in a technology-driven workforce.”


Teachers who are awarded a Qwest Foundation grant will be videotaped and photographed teaching a technology-based lesson. Lessons identified as “best practices” will be shared with all Arizona K-12 teachers.



First Round Recipients:



Recipient: Alison Campbell-Woodward

District:  Deer Unified School District        

School:  Paseo Hills Elementary


Project Title:  GLOBE at Night

Grant Amount Received:  $ 9,381

Project Description:  Paseo Hills will participate in a school wide investigation of light pollution. Kits have been ordered for student activities at all grades 1st through 8th. Students will also use sky quality meters to measure the light pollution shooting into our dark skies around the community. All data will be entered into an online data base that will contribute to an international picture of our GLOBE at night.

Recipient’s Bio:  Alison has been teaching 7th grade Science for 6 years. Graduating from the University of Arizona with a BS in Science Education, she began teaching at a Title 1 school in Tucson.  She eventually made her way back home to Phoenix where she is currently teaching at Paseo Hills Elementary. Alison is always looking for new and inventive ways to push her students academically. She is a life-long learning attending trainings from the AVID program, training for the International Baccalaureate program, working with the GK12 Program through ASU, attending training STEM for Teachers at Biosphere 2 and she usually dedicates her summers to teaching Biology at Xavier College Preparatory. Every year is different, but her class room is always filled with engagement.


Recipient:  Dave Flack

District:  Agua Fria Union High School&>

School:  Millennium High School


Project Title:  Virtual Simulations-A Whole New Mind in High School World History & Biology

Grant Amount Received:  $ 9,795

Project Description:  Using Adaptive Curriculum, Second Life and a Ning Community, high school stport, and publish for international audiences of teens. The class will have the ability to collaborate on projects that allow them to build their own interactive within a 3D gaming environment, Second Life Teen Grid.  This environment will allow them to build interactive cell structures, viruses, life cycles, and other key biological concepts through a larger than life avatar experience.  Experts from around the world will be invited into the virtual Second Life Teen Grid to serve as guest speakers and offer encouragement.  Guests including NPR Science Fridays Host and PBS/Scholastic Magic School Bus animation producer will be invited to speak with the class. 

Recipient’s Bio:  Dave Flack has been teaching for over 16 years.  Dave is currently an Inclusion Special Education Teacher who teams with teachers in the Biology and World History Department. 


Recipient:  Shauna Hamman and Bethany Sole

District:  Apache Junction Unified School

School:  Gold Canyon Elementary School

Email: and

Project Title:  Dark Skies Protectors

Grant Amount Received:  $ 8750.38

Project Description:  A collaborative group of second and fifth grade students will study the effects of light pollution in their community.  They will use a variety of technologies to conduct research, compile data, and communicate their results, and will participate in the GLOBE at Night citizen-science event. Students will work with an astronomer to create and deliver educational presentations, in order to educate other students and community members about this issue. It is hoped that through this project, students will observe first-hand that relatively small changes make a large difference in combating an environmental problem.

Recipient’s Bio:  Shauna Hamman is a fifth grade teacher at Gold Canyon Elementary School in the Apache Junction School District. She graduated from Northern Arizona University. Shauna spent the first 18 years of her working life as a paralegal in a law office, and started her teaching career only three years ago. Teaching is a new and exciting challenge every day, and she loves the way it allows her to exercise her creativity. She is married and has two daughters, one a sophomore in college and one a senior in high school.

Bethany Sole is in her third year of teaching at Gold Canyon Elementary School. She graduated from a tiny liberal arts college, Albright College, on the East coast where she was born and raised. Upon graduating with a degree in Elementary Education she did the ultimate road trip with her father to AZ. She found her nitch in the small town of Gold Canyon teaching 2nd graders. She is also an assistant swim coach for Lifetime Fitness Scottsdale.


Recipient:  Erik Hanchett

Project Title:  Prince Elementary Cemetery

Grant Amount Received:  $ 5,687.74

Project Description:  The purpose of this grant is to encourage Prince Elementary 5th graders to think like real researchers.  The students will work with a local software developer to create a program that they will load on their laptops before they head to a local cemetery to collect data.  The information gathered will be analyzed to provide a window into the history of their community.  For example, what happened in 1918 that lead to an increase in deaths?  Do women really live longer than men?  Has the average age at death changed over the last century?

Recipient’s Bio:  Sandi Sherman has been an educator for 32 years. Sandi has a BA in Elementary Education and a MEd in Gifted Education.  Both degrees are from the University of Arizona.   She began her career in Sahuarita, Arizona as a classroom teacher and for the past 23 years she has worked for Amphitheater Public Schools as a gifted specialist. Career Ladder Facilitator and Staff Developer. Sandi has helped facilitate a change in gifted services in Amphitheater over the past 23 years and most recently helped to implement the cluster model for providing services. That means the identified gifted students are clustered in the regular classrooms and the gifted specialist provides support and training to the classroom teacher, with the goal of providing services for gifted students all week long, not just once a week during a pull-out session.  Saf the fifth grade cluster classroom teacher. The proposed project is an example of the interdisciplinary, differentiated units that provide standards based learning for all students.



About the Qwest Foundation

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


The Qwest Foundation’s philosophy is to help build strong communities through investing in people and the places where they live and work. For more information, contact