2019 Bardeen Grant

Bardeen Teacher Incentive Grants

The Teacher Incentive Grant Program has been supporting special teacher training, high tech equipment and unique innovative programs at Vicksburg Community Schools since 1986. 

The purpose of this grant is to fund individual research and personal/professional development activities that will result in new teaching and learning practices. The grant can also be used to purchase materials necessary for implementation of creative and innovative teaching and learning practices where those materials are outside of the scope of normal curriculum materials, supplies or equipment supplied by the District. 

The Grant's name is an acknowledgment of the contributions of Maxwell Bardeen. Max was the longtime General Manager of Vicksburg's Lee Paper Company, one of the founders of the Vicksburg Foundation and the Western Michigan University Paper Science & Engineering Department. He was a pilot who also helped start-up the High on Kalamazoo Air Show and a champion of the Vicksburg Community Schools and Vicksburg Teachers. 

In 1994 when Maxwell Bardeen passed away, both the Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation and the Vicksburg Foundation voted to expand their support of the Teacher Incentive Grant Program. In acknowledging Max Bardeen and his family as founders of the program, it was officially renamed the Bardeen Teacher Incentive Grant Program. Simultaneously, the Vicksburg Foundation made a five year renewable commitment to the fund and increased their annual donation from $7,500 to $10,000. The Vicksburg Community Schools is grateful to Max Bardeen for his vision and long-standing commitment to the students and teachers of Vicksburg. We are also grateful to the Vicksburg Foundation for supporting teacher innovation and excellence. 

The Vicksburg Foundation makes grant funding available in the amount of $10,000 each year. Grant awards are generally limited to $1,000 each although exceptions may be considered based upon the merit of the project proposal and funding availability. That amount may be supplemented by District or private funds.

Expenditures for meals and mileage should fall within District guidelines (meals that are included in conference registration cost would be an exception). 

Teaches may include expenses for equipment, supplies and materials; however, all items purchased with grant funds become the property of the District. 

Individual teachers may apply each year; however, previous year recipients may receive lower priority in the allocation of grant funds. (The VCSF reserves the right to fund any special funding request throughout the year.) 

The Vicksburg Community Schools Foundation Allocations Committee reserves the right to recommend funding for a portion of a grant request.

How to Apply

Bardeen Teacher Incentive Grant forms are available in each school office.  The application is also available for download, see link below. If you have any questions, please call Beth O'Roark @ (269) 321-1006.

Application Deadlines

Applications are accepted annually and due by March 1st.  2021 Grant Application


Kellie (Wallen) Hillsburg – Received two tablets with Wi-Fi capability to link to an interactive projector purchased by the Sunset Lake PTSO.

April Zapata - Wiggle discs and cushions will offer Ms. Zapata's young learners alternative seating options.  Wiggle disc have been proven to increase attention and focus in the classroom setting.

Laura Chang – Providing lodging and mileage reimbursement to attend the Gerstacker Fellowship monthly professional development program throughout the current school year.

Mike Barwegen – Vertical aeroponic Tower Garden system with extension kit for Tobey Elementary.  The Tower Garden will be implemented as a part of Tobey’s ongoing character education initiative.  The project will integrate science into their literacy program, by tying the book The Carrot Seed, written by Ruth Krauss, which tells the story of a young character that learns “patience” as he waits for his carrot seed to sprout.

Amy Dunn – Chris Laaksonen and JoEllen Pollack, VMS teachers, attended a National PBIS Leadership Forum: Supporting Our Most Vulnerable Children Youth conference in Chicago.

Ravenna Kahler and Patty Heintzelman – A classroom set of ukuleles will be used to teach all 5th grade elementary students basic strumming, tuning and 3-4 chords during their eight week ukulele unit.

Kurt Phelps – Glute Ham Benches for the VHS Weight Room.  The benches will allow for a greater range of motion, strengthens the posterior chain for overall muscular improvement, equating to decreased risk of injury.

Jill Tibbets – Renovation of the computer lab into a new reading room at Tobey.  Items to be purchased include: paint, shelving, book bins and baskets, along with inviting seating.

Callie Baker and Kristen Roberts - Barnes and Noble gift cards were given to Indian Lake 5th grade classrooms to purchase new and exciting books for their classroom set of Nooks.

Sarah Phillips – Partial funding was provided to implement a new Interactive Projector.

Amy Dunn and Matt VanDussen - Amy Dunn and Matt VanDussen attended the Solution Tree Workshop this fall.  The workshop expounded on the Middle School’s initiation of a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS), an academic intervention tool to quickly identify students with performance and learning needs.   

Troy Smith – Funding for a Green Screen Studio at VHS. A green screen allows advanced videographers the ability to “key-out” their background with anything they select and create award-winning special effect movies.

Sawyer Duncan and Angie Getsinger – Each elementary building will have access to a Jump Sport trampoline.  The trampolines will offer students a way to burn off excess energy and will also be used as an incentive for students working towards rewards/goals.  The trampolines will also offer an effective tool to regulate mood and social-emotional health.

Kristina Newhouse – Whiteboard horseshoe table to be used when working with small groups in her Sunset Lake 1st grade classroom.   The table has been a great tool for the students to be able to have a large space to write on and for me to understand their thinking.

Rick Place and Don Puckett – E-Sports Club receiving gaming equipment which will be available to all participants, with the emphasis to provide all participants an opportunity to a cha who may not have equipment at home

Krista Ragotzy –  Black Gold  long-handled paint brushes for her high school art classes. 

Ruth Hook – Eight Indian Lake teachers to attend National PBIS Forum specifically focused on Tier 2 and 3, which concentrations on developing strategies for students who are at risk for developing more serious problem behaviors and provide them with individualized support to improve behavioral and academic outcomes.

Jori Machiela – Flexible/choice seating options for her Indian Lake Elementary 3rd grade classroom. 

Rachel King – AIM Higher club members to attend the Peace Jam, 2 day youth leadership conference in the spring of 2020.  Students will learn the work of a Nobel Peace Laureate, directly from the Laureate.  The conference features an emphasis on the development and implementation of service project though their community.

Anthony Lindeman – Two digital single lens reflex cameras to be used to enhance the high school art program offerings.  Students will have a unique experience of using technology to capture their artwork digitally.

Jill Christiansen – Camp stools, Michigan nature books, and plant markers were items approved for the Outdoor Education Center classes.

Angela Spahnak – A Surface Pro 6 and Arch Mouse will allow Mrs. Spahnak, Elementary Interventionist, to work more effectively with her students.

Amy Lawrence – Nine Wobble chairs were granted to Mrs. Lawrence’s middle school classroom for “active seating” options.