HELENA, MONT. – Oct. 13, 2009 For the third consecutive year, First Lady Nancy Schweitzer and the Qwest Foundation are making a tour of Montana, awarding surprise grants to teachers who use technology in their classrooms in new and innovative ways. The grants are part of the Qwest Teachers and Technology program, which uses a competitive application process to reward Montana kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers who use technology to improve student performance.

On Tuesday, Oct. 13, the First Lady and David Gibson, Qwest Montana president, surprised two Helena teachers with almost $10,000 in grants for their classrooms. 

·         Jim Darcy Elementary School teacher Tina Brothers received $6,460 to acquire digital cameras, computers, a projector and software to teach kindergarten students to design and build a school Web site.

·         Capital High School teacher Jason Neiffer received $3,509 to purchase technical equipment needed to add multimedia content to the high school’s online student newspaper and Web site. 

First Lady Nancy Schweitzer said, “I congratulate teachers and thank them for bringing innovative teaching practices into the classroom. Oftentimes the hard work of a teacher can inspire a student to attain new heights and spark their interest in careers in math, science, and technology.”

This year, eight winners across the state will share $50,000 in grants to bring their programs to life for elementary-, middle- and high-school students.

“It’s a pleasure to continue Qwest’s Teachers and Technology grant program this year, and to bring much-needed funds to deserving teachers, students and schools,” said Qwest Montana President David Gibson. “The quality of our winners’ proposed projects exemplify how involved teachers across the state are in technology, and how committed they are to ensuring Montana’s young people are prepared for the 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 Montana Association for Career and Technical Education.




About the Math and Science Initiative 

Governor Brian Schweitzer and First Lady Nancy Schweitzer share a joint interest in science: Brian is a soil scientist and Nancy is a botanist. Together they want to help students discover the wonders of math and science. The Governor and First Lady's Math and Science Initiative invites Montana’s youth to discover the many opportunities to learn about science and math in K-12 schools and higher education, find out about career opportunities and explore Montana’s splendid surroundings.