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Wolsey-Wessington schools receive Monsanto grant

Posted: Friday, Dec 21st, 2012


The Wolsey-Wessington School District accepted a $10,000 check from the America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program. Shown from left are Carmen Bartells, Wolsey-Wessington high school science teacher,; Jennifer Boomsma, Wolsey-Wessington middle school math teacher; Jared Zerfoss, co-owner of Diversified Seed Genetics; Dodey Shroyer, District Sales Manager Channel Seeds; and Richard Vasgaard, Monsanto Advisory Board member. PHOTO BY KARA GUTORMSON/PLAINSMAN


WOLSEY —The Wolsey-Wessington School district won a $10,000 grant through the Monsanto Fund’s America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education program, and the check was presented to school officials on Monday night at the beginning of the varsity boys’ basketball game.

America’s Farmers Grow Rural Education is a program that gives farmers the opportunity to nominate their school district to apply for a merit-based grant to enhance math and science education.

Wolsey-Wessington School district was selected as one of four winners in the state.

Superintendent of Wolsey-Wessington School District James Cutshaw gave credit to computer teacher and network administrator Caroline McGillvrey for getting the ball rolling by writing the grant proposal.

“She is tremendous at grant writing,” said Cutshaw. “Her efforts, along with the group of farmers who supported us, are the ones who’ve made this possible,” he said.

Carmen Bartells, high school science teacher, says the grant will be a big help in getting some specialized equipment for students to use. “We are going to get some Vernier brand probeware, which will help us with advanced biology and also some chemistry classes,” Bartells said. Jennifer Boomsma, middle school math teacher, said her classes will be benefiting from the use of five netbook computers.

McGillvrey explained how she started the process. “We wrote the grant asking what we wanted for the educational system,” she said. “The grant is S.T.E.M. oriented, which stands for science, technology, engineering and math.”

McGillvrey and other staff members put the word out to the community by sending flyers home with the students, and also by interacting with area farmers so they knew how to nominate the school district.

Joel Kelsey was one of the farmers who nominated Wolsey-Wessington school. He said the process of nominating was fairly straightforward. He never expected that his vote would make such a difference to the school in his community. “It was for a good cause, I’m glad I could help,” said Kelsey.

McGillvrey said she is very excited to see the community-wide efforts come to fruition. “It’s rewarding to provide staff with equipment, technology and resources for their students that we normally wouldn’t be able to purchase,” said McGillvrey.

All of the farmers who nominated the Wolsey-Wessington school district were given special recognition during the check presentation ceremony on Monday.



For the complete article see the 12-20-2012 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 12-20-2012 paper.


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