Hill-Murray School Receives $2 Million Gift

Hill-Murray School Receives $2 Million Gift


Left to right: Front row: Joyce Schneider, Kelly Schwartzbauer, Michelle Lee
Middle row: Renee Luther, Kay Hanson
Back row: Jess Donnerbauer, Brent Johnson
Not pictured: Kim Nelson, James Fester, Kady D'Addario, Julie Kay Anderson, Jean Busch


Hill-Murray School Receives $2 Million Gift To Fund Teacher Innovation

Hill-Murray School recognizes the importance of teacher innovation and is committed to the pursuit of the most current and effective ways to engage and inspire our students.

To encourage our teachers to explore innovative methodologies that will positively transform the student experience at Hill-Murray School in academics, co-curriculars, clubs and/or activities, a Hill-Murray alum gifted a total of $2 Million to fund the Lasallian Teaching Endowment.

The Lasillian Teaching Endowment was formed to honor the commitment made by the Christian Brothers in their pursuit of educational excellence. The Hill-Murray Foundation Board invests the principle and provides the Lasallian Teaching Endowment Committee annual proceeds to grant to worthy applicants. Each year, these grant dollars are offered to Hill-Murray teachers with ideas that will be transformative for the grantee, students and the school community.

This year, we had ten requests that received full funding for a total of $21,600 in teacher innovation grants.

  • James Fester: Coding/Augmented Reality Curriculum – Coding will focus on Apple's new programming language and will work to reduce the gender gap found in the technology field.
  • Brent Johnson: Optimum Audio – Learning begins with hearing and adding sound amplification to a classroom can impact learning and improve test scores.
  • Joyce Schneider & Renee Luther: Author a geometry textbook specifically for Hill-Murray – To ease student transition from level to level and to eliminate inconsistencies, this team will create one text book which will be easily adaptable to all three levels of geometry.
  • Kelly Schwartzbauer: Grammerly – This online writing tool encourages polished grammar, wordsmithing and professional writing style. It allows teachers to focus on developing student content not grading grammar.
  • Jean Busch & Kay Hanson: Bridging the gap between Spanish I and Spanish II – This summer school curriculum will prepare students to pass Hill-Murray's World Language Placement Test for admission to Spanish 2. It will improve fluency and allow students to complete higher levels of Spanish class before they graduate.
  • Michelle Lee, Kim Nelson & James Fester: Breakout EDU – Breakout EDU is an immersive learning game platform which allows teachers to turn their classrooms into academically-focused escape rooms which allow students to use teamwork and critical thinking skills.
  • Julie Kay Anderson: Hill-Murray Writing Center – The Writing Center will serve as a cornerstone of Hill-Murray's strong writing curriculum. It will help students find their own topics, establish their voice, organize ideas and more.
  • Kady D'Addario & Jess Donnerbauer: Curriculum Development – This grant will allow teachers to personally experience the subjects they teach. Donnerbauer will visit the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis Tennessee, walk the battlefield of Gettysburg and visit to the Constitutional Center in Philadelphia. D'Addario will attend Constitutional Law lectures in Philadelphia. These lectures and materials will serve as a basis for a Constitutional Law course at Hill-Murray.

Hill-Murray President Jim Hansen said, "This grant is a commitment to future academic and co-curricular excellence. Innovation is a priority at Hill-Murray School along with our commitment to providing our students the opportunities to learn about how they will make substantial contributions to society in the future."