Home > Stories > Great Grants > Annual Depoali Memorial Fund Grants Awarded to Five Schools

Depoali Memorial Fund grants were awarded in 2019 to five Washoe County Schools in memory of Kendyl Ruth Williams Depoali

Kendyl Ruth Williams DePoali

The Depoali Memorial Fund supports Washoe County schools in improving their classrooms to directly benefit students. Grants support innovative classroom projects, professional development, curriculum programs, or needed classroom tools and supplies.

Principals, teachers, administrators, or student organizations with guidance and approval from faculty from Washoe County Elementary, Middle, or High Schools are eligible to apply for a grant from this fund. Grants are distributed once annually; one or more grants of up to $5,000 may be awarded.

2020 applications will open on September 1 with a deadline of October 31. Grants will be awarded by November 30.

Diedrichsen Elementary School to purchase two FOSS kits for 3rd-grade teachers. The kits provide the materials and curriculum for effective science teaching and learning grounded in scientific inquiry where students construct explanations by observing, questioning, carrying out investigations, and developing/using models. The students will “learn by doing” which moves away from just learning from a textbook and worksheets.

Greenbrae School will bring in Sierra Nevada Journeys to provide interactive STEM activities.  According to Greenbrae Principal Joanna AuCoin, the impact of integrated STEM learning is paramount. It is not solely based on subjects, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. It is the perseverance and tenacity that it builds in all students. Students understand the design process and that to fail is all part of the learning and growing process. Most importantly is the “grit”  that grows in students, the belief in the process of trying and failing and the growth that comes from both.

Jesse Beck Elementary School is purchasing PHIS (Positive Behavior Intervention Reward System) incentives for demonstrating Respectful, Responsible and Kind behaviors.  Rewards can be redeemed weekly at the Bear Paw Store and each classroom will be provided with an annual one-time expenditure for class Bear Paws such as (pizza or ice cream party).

McQueen High School will purchase laptops for students to use in the Debate program. McQueen’s team currently has 41 competitive members, but only 10 of them have regular access to a laptop. As Speech and Debate events live and die on regular access to technology this is a critical need. The laptops will be owned by the debate program, so their use in the curriculum will be benefiting these 41 students and the many who will enter the program in the coming years.

Wooster High School will buy new video editing software and recording equipment for the in-school weekly news report “The Giddyup”. The Giddyup is produced in Public Relations class. It focuses on storytelling and teaches students the meaning of connecting people at Wooster as well as building relationships through these connections.

About Kendyl Depoali

Kendyl Depoali was an extraordinary educator who had a significant and lasting impact on education in Washoe County. She began her 33-year career with the Washoe County School District at Clayton Middle School in 1974. She continued on to teach at McQueen High School. Kendyl was a master teacher, and over her teaching career, taught subjects as diverse as home economics, geography, German, English, math, art, history, government, sociology, science, and speech and debate. She left the classroom to take on administrative roles, including becoming the Principal of her alma mater, Sparks High School.

In a 2003 Sparks High graduation speech, Kendyl exemplified her faith in the potential of the Washoe County School District and its students.

Public education allows us to frame our own futures to choose what those futures will be regardless of gender, skin color, disability, or wealth. Public education is the great opener of doors, the leveler of playing fields, the purveyor of equal opportunities. This country rewards effort, hard work, and … education.

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