Glenbrook Foundation and District 225 award Teacher Innovation Grants

The Glenbrook High School Foundation along with District 225 recently selected the recipients of the 2017 Teacher Innovation Grants.  

The mission of the foundation is “to provide resources that enhance and enrich educational experiences for all students in District 225.” As affirmation of this mission, the foundation is pleased to announce that four grants have been awarded to Glenbrook North teachers Karen Fitzsimons and Robert Froehlich, and Glenbrook South teachers Mike Macfadden, Lisa Pavic, Marianne Gudmundsson and Kelly Baker. 

The combined total of the grants was $5,000. Grants are awarded to proposals that most clearly advance student learning and achievement in a creative manner incorporating the tenets of best practices in secondary education. 

Beth Bassler, chairperson of the foundation, said the grants “allow teachers to think outside the box and provide resources to their students.” 

“These grants allow teachers to use their creativity to enhance student learning beyond the classroom,” Bassler said.

Resources for students: 

Karen Fitzsimons is a math teacher and is sponsoring a school-wide event with activities created to celebrate e-Day on February 7, 2018 (2.7.18). The number 2.7.18 is an irrational number that occurs naturally and is helpful in puzzling out exponential and logarithmic functions. Math games, geometric hands-on materials and algebraic manipulatives will be used that day to help students understand the significance of this number.

“Students will develop an appreciation for – and understanding of – some seemingly complex mathematical concepts, and how those have relevance in their daily lives,” Fitzsimons said.

Robert Froehlich is a physics teacher and is using proceeds from his grant to purchase Pitsco TETRIX Prime Dual Control Robotics sets. These robotics sets can be used in physics classes in “open-ended” problems where it will be up to the students to “implement and code the solution” using the robotics technology. 

“Bundled robotics kits make this technology available to students from the ground-level up,” Froehlich said. “Students will learn programming and necessary interface electronics to have the robotics perform tasks.”

Mike Macfadden is a business and technology teacher, and is purchasing a Screen Printing Kit that will enable students in his graphics classes and students in various clubs/organizations to interface to create a variety of promotional items. 

“This project will offer an exciting opportunity for the graphic design students to see their creative visions come to life in a real and tangible way, in working with clients on design projects,” Macfadden said. 

Lisa Pavic, Marianne Gudmundsson and Kelly Baker are working with biology students at GBS to incorporate Pear Deck into their classrooms. Pear Deck is a technological tool that allows for immediate student feedback that monitors student understanding. 

According to the company, Pear Deck brings the classroom “clicker” into the 21st century with not only multiple choice-style questions, but also text responses, numbers, drawings, draggable pins on images and more.” The teachers are excited because students will be able to demonstrate their learning interactively.

Another $5,000 in grants will be offered this coming spring. Visit for more information.