2019 Recipients

Innovative programs continue to be a part of the curriculum for Tri-Creek area students, thanks to the support of the Tri-Creek Education Foundation.
The Foundation’s eighteenth annual competitive grant opportunity has awarded over $15,000 due to generous donations from the community and a very successful annual Labor Day 5K run/walk.
Lynne Haberlin, Foundation Director and Chairperson of the Foundation’s Grant Committee, introduced the 2019 recipients of twelve grants, which will impact Tri-Creek students at all levels in all buildings, at the Tri-Creek School Corporation Board of School Trustees’ meeting held Thursday, November 15, 2019.  The following Tri-Creek staff members received funding for creative programs and educational activities.


Lowell High School grant recipients:  Jennifer Roberts, Matt McLindon, Kevin Garling, Amanda Czyszczon, and students Heather Karm, Karat Kinney, Bron Otis
Not pictured:  Students Kaylee Jensen, Levi Brock, Katie Smetana

Opportunity Center and Alt School teacher Jennifer  Roberts ($961.00) “Literacy at the ALT/OC.”  Through book talks and literature circles, Alternative School and Opportunity Center students will increase vocabulary, grammar, and punctuation skills.  They will develop a love for literature by reading four excellent high interest books.

Lowell High School teacher Matt McLindon ($2,846.00) “RDN:  Then, Now, Forever.”  Grant money will be used to purchase radio and TV equipment to allow students to work on real-world projects for several area businesses.  Students will learn skills necessary to be successful in a Radio/TV career.

Lowell High School teacher Kevin Garling ($440.00) “AG Green Machine.”  Funding will enable students in Natural Resource Management and Landscape Management classes to turn a lawn mower into an “earth friendly” machine.  The project will educate students on sustainability and environmental footprints.

Lowell High School teacher Amanda Czyszczon and her Biomedical Innovations students  ($2,50.00) “Be Here Tomorrow.”  This project will bring awareness of local resources that help students improve mental health and recognize signs and symptoms of mental illnesses.  Activities will include a guest speaker, use of social media accounts to provide daily encouragement and motivation, and creation of a promotional video.


Lowell Middle grant recipients:  Jennifer Roberts, Traci Noble,
Michelle Hellwege, Lindsay Prenkert
    Not pictured:  Melissa Duttweiler

Lowell Middle School counselor Melissa Duttweiler and social worker Traci Noble ($100.00) “Student Social-Emotional Support.”  The project will supply group counseling curriculum and resources for LMS.   Students will be selected for small group based on behavior data collected by teachers.  Post-group behavior data will be analyzed to determine effectiveness of the groups.

Lowell Middle School principal Michelle Hellewege  ($412.00) “Global Read Aloud 2019.”  Lowell Middle School teachers will read the book The Bridge Home to all LMS students, helping students to make global connections.  Students will be inspired to understand the need to protect and care for all people.

Lowell Middle School teacher Lindsay Prenkert ($2,400.00) “Computer Science and Robotics for 8th Graders.”  This project will support a new required eighth grade class and will get students excited about technology.  Students will create code and use robots to solve problems, write messages, and participate in games.


Elementary grant recipients:  from Three Creeks -  Mary Stinnett, Kaitlyn DeBoer, Lisa Patton, from Oak Hill - Jessica Peak
    Not pictured:  from Three Creeks - Ashley Anderson, Alexa Snyder, from Lake Prairie Jennifer Lucinski, Kerri Coapstick

Three Creeks Elementary teachers Mary Stinnett, Ashley Anderson, and Alexa Snyder  ($1,000.00) “Study Trip to Indiana State Museum and the Indiana Statehouse.”  Fourth grade students will experience the joy and wonder of visiting these sites in Indiana’s capital city.  Students will design t-shirts and write in traveling journals to support their learning.

Three Creeks Elementary teachers Kaitlyn DeBoer and Lisa Patton ($2,725.00)  “Code-iak Bears.”  First grade teachers will sponsor an after-school coding club.  Students will stretch their thinking, problem solve, develop grit, and develop social skills as they learn to code robots to complete tasks. 

Lake Prairie Elementary teacher Jennifer Lusinski ($550.00) “Motivational Murals.”  Lake Prairie art atudents will paint several murals with positive messages throughout the school building. The murals will beautify the school and encourage student motivation and good choices.

Lake Prairie Elementary teacher Kerri Coapstick ($680.00) “Back in the Lab.”  Grant funds will purchase electronic balances, charts and posters, and Magiscopes to enhance fifth grade science curriculum.  Using these materials, fifth grade students will enjoy hands-on science activities to support their learning.

Oak Hill Elementary interventionist Jessica Peak ($539.00) “Game On!  Interactive Interventions.”  “Simply Fun” games will target critical reading and math skills.  The games will reinforce key concepts and fuel passion for learning. 

According to Haberlin,  “The Grant Committee enjoyed reviewing the applications that all highlighted wonderful projects to bring excellence and innovation into Tri-Creek classrooms and school buildings.  Strong community support enables us to fund a variety of programs that will positively affect student learning.”
Gifts to TCEF in any amount are appreciated and can be made in the donor’s name or in the name of a loved one. Since the Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization, all donations are qualified to be tax deductible. 
For more information about the Foundation, please contact:
                     Mrs. Luan Brown, President
                     Tri-Creek Education Foundation, Inc.
                     19290 Cline Avenue
                     Lowell, Indiana 46356


Lake Prairie.jpg

Lake Prairie Elementary teacher Sheryl Buche ($1,525.00) “Kindergarten Coding Club.” Students will stretch their imaginations, build grit, and learn to overcome obstacles while “playing” with robots. They will program robots to do an unlimited variety of activities and tasks. A final project will be presented to parents at an End of Kindergarten Celebration.

Lake Prairie Elementary teacher Mia Kouros ($1,150.00) Lake Prairie Robotics.” Robotics teams and competitions will be expanded through the purchase of VEX supplies and equipment. Students will work in groups, problem solve, operate a robot, and compete with other teams in a game-based engineering challenge.

Lake Prairie:  Sheryl Buche, Mia Kouros

Oak Hill.jpg

Oak Hill Elementary teachers Kassie Helsel, Amanda Montez, Wendy Wright ($672.00) “Buckley Homestead Study Trip.” Oak Hill fourth grade students will have first hand experiences of pioneer life in the early settlement period of southern Lake County, learning about chores, recreation, school work, and challenges of life during the 19th century.

Oak Hill Elementary teachers Amanda Haskins and Becky Blackman ($750.00) “Rockin’ Robotics.” Grant funds will enable students to actively compete and engage in STEM learning. An additional robotics team will be added this year, and VEX
equipment and supplies will be purchased.

Oak Hill:  Kassie Helsel, Amanda Montez, Wendy Wright, Amanda Haskins, Becky Blackman

Three Creeks Elementary teacher Nicolette Hahn ($340.00) “Kindergarten Listening Library.” Kindergarten students at Three Creeks will gain access to a variety of read along books with CDs for a listening center. The listening center will provide differentiation and support to emerging readers who struggle with decoding and fluency skills.

Three Creeks Elementary teacher Holly Carter ($1,675.00)
“Enter …the Curiosity Dome.” The Curiosity Dome is an interactive portable planetarium. Three Creeks students will visit the Dome to experience grade level science standards in a unique way.

Three Creeks Elementary teacher Katie Taylor ($800.00) “Traveling Minds Rerouted Back to the Classroom.” Vibrations wristbands will encourage children to work on on-task behavior and improve engagement while working on classwork. Teachers will assess the bands’ effectiveness in improving students’ ability to focus and self-direct their learning.

Three Creeks Elementary teachers D’Ann Habas and Holly Carter ($100.00) “TC Robotics.” Grant money will be used to purchase new field elements for competition. Three Creeks will add a second team this year, enabling more students to get hands-on experience in real world STEM activities.

Three Creeks.jpg

Three Creeks:  Nicolette Hahn, Holly Carter, Katie Taylor  
(not pictured:  D'Ann Habas)

Lowell Middle School.jpg

Lowell Middle School teacher Erinn Malaski ($500.00) “Positive Changes in the Classroom and Among Students.” Grant funds will be used to create a unique classroom environment for “Family Time” activities. Those activities will help students build relationships and see themselves as part of a community.

Lowell Middle School teacher Natalie Faulkner ($3,000.00) “Farm Ecosystem Study Trip.” Sixth grade students will participate in a real-world experience in a hands-on, interactive farm ecosystem at Fair Oaks Dairy Farm. Students will learn about the properties necessary to maintain homeostasis in an ecosystem, the role of
photosynthesis, and the effects of changes in an ecosystem.

Lowell Middle School principal Rebecca Pavich ($2,150.00) “One School One Book.” All middle school students will read the same book and participate in word of the day, trivia, games, and follow up activities. The project is designed to support attainment of academic and functional vocabulary.

Lowell Middle School:  Erinn Malaski
(not pictured:  Natalie Faulkner, Rebecca Pavich)

Lowell High School associate principal Shannon Richards and art teacher Veronica LaPage ($220.00) “#WeAreLowell.” High school Art Club members will paint a cafeteria wall with symbols representative of Lowell and Red Devil Pride. It will be designed so that students and community members can take selfies in front of the mural be posted on social media.

Lowell High School associate principal Shannon Richards and art teacher Veronica LaPage ($220.00) “#WeAreLowell.” High school Art Club members will paint a cafeteria wall with symbols representative of Lowell and Red Devil Pride. It will be designed so that students and community members can take selfies in front of the mural be posted on social media.

Lowell High School.jpg

owell High School:  Shannon Richards, Veronica LaPage (not pictured:  Dave Wilson)

Alt School.jpg

Opportunity Center and Alt School teacher Jennifer Roberts ($565.00) “Flexible Seating at the Opportunity Center and Alt School.” Grant funds will purchase a variety of classroom seating options for a students, allowing them to “functionally fidget” and improve engagement and involvement. 

Opportunity Center/Alt School:  

Jennifer Roberts