Fund for Teachers

VHACF is proud to be a part of rewarding and investing in exceptional teachers working in our area’s school districts #621 and #624. Fund for Teachers is a concrete way we can do this, articulated well in their Mission Statement:

Fund for Teachers strengthens instruction by investing in outstanding teachers’ self-determined professional growth and development in order to support student success, enrich their own practice, and strengthen their schools and communities.

For more information about the organization of Fund for Teachers, click here.

Past Recipient Stories

VHACF 2018 FFT Grant Recipients Travel to London

Debra Thibault and Elizabeth Ulmer, teachers from Oneka Elementary in Hugo, received our 2018 Fund for Teachers grant. They traveled to London for a homestay/school visit experience under the direction of international speaker, author and third grade teacher Kayla Denzler. They worked with a London teacher and students and were very impressed with the students’ vocabulary usage in comparison to their students back home.

Deb and Elizabeth had this to say about their experience in terms of how it will help them back at Oneka Elementary:

“Our practices have already changed as a result of our experiences in the London school. We started incorporating more dramatic play in our classrooms and have been offering training to other teachers who are interested in doing the same. We met with our leadership team this summer and shared some ideas to rethink the way we utilize our support staff and have begun to offer trainings and support to increase their level of involvement in the instructional aspects of the classrooms.”

VHACF 2017 FFT Grant Recipients Travel to Iceland

Lindsay Lamwers and Matthew Skogen, White Bear Lake science teachers at Sunrise Park Middle School, received our 2017 Fund for Teachers grant.They traveled to Iceland in August to film that country’s unique tectonic features and landforms using a special 360 degree camera, and record themselves teaching. Back in the classroom, students will be able to view these special videos using Google Cardboard virtual reality viewers (in above photo).

In addition to a tectonic plate boundary, Iceland is home to almost all types of volcanic and geothermal activity, including rift valleys, geysers, hot springs, mountains, volcanoes, glaciers and glacial landforms. Matt has spectacular photographs and videos on his twitter account, all of which can be viewed here and clicking on his instagram photo links or hovering over the videos themselves. Below are a couple to get you started-what an amazing journey Matt and Lindsay are able to share with their students and all of us!

VHACF 2016 FFT Grant Recipient in London and Spain

Mounds View High School Math teacher, Katie O’Bryan, received our 2016 Fund For Teachers grant to travel to London and Spain. She wanted to expand how students engage in math content by learning about the geometry involved with Islamic art. You can read her fascinating blog posts here and here and one more post by clicking on the photo below.

VHACF 2015 FFT Grant Recipients in Poland


Mounds View High School English teachers, Beth Baxley, Allyson Manns and Ashley Walter, received our 2015 Fund for Teachers grant to visit Poland to research the background of a graphic novel they teach. Maus is the story of a Polish Jew during the Holocaust. You can find the teachers’ moving account of their five days in Poland, visiting concentration camps, Warsaw and other cities at their blog here.

VHACF 2014 FFT Grant Recipient in Argentina


Our 2014 Fund for Teachers Grant Recipient, Sarah Swoboda, is using her grant to spend some time in Argentina.

A few weeks in Argentina…what a wonderful opportunity! Thanks to the WBL Educational Foundation and the Fund for Teachers – Vadnais Heights Program, I get to take a Spanish course for Spanish teachers and experience life in Argentina! I will post some highlights here for anyone interested!

Click on Sarah’s image below to go to her blog.

VHACF 2013 FFT Grant Recipient in Africa


Allison Pratt, our 2013 Fund For Teachers recipient, used her grant money in Namibia, Africa. In her own words,

On June 13th 2013, I departed for Namibia, Africa using grant money that I received from Fund for Teachers. My intention was to volunteer with a group called EHRA (Elephant Human Relations Aid) and use my volunteer experience to supplement the literature I teach about conservation and the environment. When I embarked on my journey, I knew I was in for an adventure, but I didn’t quite know how much it was going to transform my thinking about the environment, our relationship with animals, and the literature I teach. This blog depicts my journey and what I learned from the place, people, animals, and wild that I experienced.

Click on Allison’s image below to go to her blog.