Our Impact Education Winners at Work!

Picture of Kelly Fodor and colleagues receiving the Impact Education award.

What do a reading program, carpentry tools, Chromebooks, a band room projector, and books in multiple languages have in common?

They were all once just the audacious dreams of educators, and they’re all programs which Vantage funded with our annual Impact Education contest.

Founded as a credit union for teachers, we have a long tradition of not only supporting the individual financial goals of educators but supporting the audacious dreams educators have for their students. We know that when educators are given the support they need, they have a direct impact on their students’ lives.

This year, Vantage supported five teachers in their bold plans which have a direct impact upon their students and communities.

At Telegraph Intermediate School, Vantage funded Kelly Fodor’s plan to purchase a literacy program called Study Island. ® The computer program integrates games with cutting-edge pedagogy in order to improve student reading levels. The students are enjoying the games and play within the program, and more importantly Fodor’s dream has already had an impact as she indicates that “the kids are already improving their reading.”

Picture of the workshop at Festus High School

Festus Senior High School’s Russ Schmidt has led the recent renewal of the school’s carpentry program and facilities. He partnered with local carpentry trade unions to provide students industry-standard training, which translates into possible future employment. As Schmidt claimed, “I already have headhunters calling and asking for students who might be interested in working this summer for $15-$18 per hour.” With help from Vantage, Schmidt will now be able to purchase the power tools required to train students to receive their carpentry certification.

Renita Perry receiving an Impact Education award in November 2019

Renita Perry at Combs Elementary School also dreamed of putting the power of education at her students’ fingertips. Believing that students need experience and training with technology in order to succeed, Perry reached out to Vantage in order to fund the purchase of additional Chromebooks for her students, moving toward her eventual goal of one-to-one technology access in her classroom. Her direct impact to education will inevitably help her students prepare to succeed in the future.

Tricia Frank and Principal Cain Receive the 2019 Impact Education award

At Parkway North High School, Tricia Frank began creating a library of multi-lingual books. Her project addresses the reality of the changing school population by providing resources for cultural interchange: classic English books translated into other languages, and classics in other languages translated into English. With support from Vantage, Frank has been able to dramatically expand the library collection. As Principal Tori Cain points out, this project centers on valuing the uniqueness of students and “helps build our community.”

Brachman receiving the impact education award from Vantage Credit Union

The community at Lutheran North Middle and High School has long prided itself on its tradition of excellence. Dr. Tim Brachman was proud to indicate at a wall filled with famous alumni, “For a school of our size, we’ve had quite an impact.” The wall of photos stands across the hall from the high school’s band room, which will be getting a new projector because of support from Vantage.

These five projects demonstrate the variety of ways educators directly impact students and schools. Vantage Credit Union is proud to partner with educators in making a difference in our local community.

Congratulations to our 2019 Impact Education winners!

  • Kelly Fodor at Telegraph Intermediate: $2,000 for Study Island ® literacy program to help students learn to love reading
  • Russ Schmidt at Festus Senior High School: $1,000 to purchase carpentry equipment for their expanding program
  • Renita Perry at Combs Elementary School: $1,000 to put more Chromebooks and technology in the hands of students
  • Tricia Frank at Parkway North High School: $500 toward their multilingual library and cultural exchange program
  • Dr. Tim Brachman at Lutheran North Middle and High School: $500 to purchase a new projector for their band