Local teachers receive grants

Two Columbus teachers have each received $12,000 Lilly Endowment grants to fund personal and professional renewal experiences.

Recipients are Central Middle School teacher Katherine R. Slabosky and Columbus East High School teacher Derek C. Chastain.

Slabosky plans to use the money for a project called “Advice from a Glacier.” She plans to visit Iceland and Glacier National Park in Montana to observe glaciers and geology.

Chastain’s project, “Lost Among the Stars: Building a Telescope to Gaze Into Deep Space,” will involve building a large reflecting telescope. The telescope will then be used by students to pursue study about astronomy.

Chastain, who has taught at East since the fall of 2005, said he became interested in astronomy as a child while looking at constellations with his father.

He plans to build the telescope during summer break and hopes to begin using it next fall.

The Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowship program is in its 30th year in 2017, with many educators using the fellowships to travel across the United States and the world to pursue different interests.

“These dedicated teachers, principals, counselors and media specialists have designed inspirational projects that promise to strengthen them personally and professionally,” said Sara B. Cobb, the endowment’s vice president for education.

“For three decades now, we at the endowment have learned how important it is for educators to have time and space to create and explore. They have shared with us that they return to their schools with a greater commitment to their students and the vocation of education.”

More than 2,900 educators have received grants since the fellowship program began in 1987.

The endowment selected 2017 fellows from a competitive pool of more than 500 applicants.

About the program

The Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowship program will mark its 30th year in 2017. The fellowship program, which began in 1987, awards $12,000 grants to educators to pursue personal and professional interests.

The endowment selected 2017 fellows from a competitive pool of more than 500 applicants.