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PEF Teacher Grants help inspirational teachers throughout PUSD take their creative projects from idea to reality by providing resources to enhance the classroom experience for their students. The grants, provided directly to the teachers, benefit thousands of students in Altadena, Pasadena, and Sierra Madre.

In 2019 we are proud to provide more than $200,000 in grants to our teachers and administrators.

See Our 2019 Awards Photo Gallery

This year, 169 teachers and principals will receive awards representing 136 unique proposals from every school in the district. Gas Chromatography, iPads for entrepreneurship endeavours, musical instruments, expanded multi-language and Braille libraries, materials for the production of “The Whiz Jr.,” Project Citizen to give students a clear understanding of public policy, NASA Activities, Science Labs, Virtual Reality Glasses, “Fab Lab” (fabrication laboratory) and Makerspaces, are just a few of the diverse and vibrant educational projects that the 2019-20 PEF Teacher Grants are supporting.

In addition to grants directly to teachers, PEF awarded 18 School-wide Project Grants, and three special awards. School-wide Project Grants are for larger focused projects and have funded an outdoor classroom for learning water conservation, a new athletic weight room, and resources to build supercomputers to create a virtual reality lab.

PEF Teacher Grants are made possible with generous support from the College Football Playoff Foundation, Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, FEDCO Charitable Foundation, California Community Foundation, and individual community donors.

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Teachers & Principals

PEF GRANTS 2019-20
Special Awards

Jarratt Brunson Memorial Award for Literacy

Debbie Breitenstein, Teacher
Norma Coombs Elementary
“Building a Home Library”

Honoring the late Jarratt Brunson, the PEF founder who initiated the Teacher Grant Program, this award will go to the proposal that best reflects Jarratt’s passion for reading and early literacy.

Kathy Onoye Principal's Award

Brian Stanley
Rose City High School
“Student Internships” 

Honoring Kathy Onoye, who throughout her career as a Principal of Willard Elementary School and most recently as the Executive Director of Elementary Education for the PUSD, has been an outstanding role model and mentor for principals, this award will go to the PUSD Administrator whose proposal best exemplifies their role in inspiring leadership.

Calvin Hunt Arts Award

Karen Klages
John Muir High School
“Music for Muir’s Band and Orchestra Program” 

Founded by a PUSD Board member in memory of Calvin Hunt who, as Director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, took dancers all over the world as cultural ambassadors. This award promotes and supports dedicated teachers enhancing arts education in PUSD.

“Every year I am awed by the creativity and passion that our district’s teachers and principals share in their grant proposals.” Patrick Conyers, PEF Executive Director

School-wide Grants

Benita Scheckel
Altadena Arts Magnet
All School Musical Theatre Experience

David Ibarra
Blair IB School
Sound System

Lori Touloumian
Eliot Arts Magnet Academy
Ready, Set, Make! Fab Lab Makerspace – An Innovation Learning Lab

Michael Bell
Focus Point Academy
Therapeutic Enhancement

Merian Stewart
Franklin Elementary
Education Through Music

Erika Cooper
Hamilton Elementary
Hamilton “Innovation Library Lab”

Rita Exposito
Jackson STEM Dual Language Magnet Academy
Developing Bi-literate, Bi-cognitive Learners

Noemi Orduna
Madison Elementary
Madison in Motion

Germaine Nesbitt
McKinley School of the Arts
Performance / Studio Upgrades

Debra Lucas
Norma Coombs Elementary
Integration of Programming and Game Design

Brian Stanley
Sofia Valadez
Rose City High School
Student Internships

Garrett Newsom
Sierra Madre Middle School
Supporting the Expansion of Our Instrumental Music Program

Karrone Meeks
Oscar Manzanares
Damon Bonds
Washington Elementary STEM Magnet School
Beep Bop Robotics!

Shannon Malone
Ivan Harris
Jason Trapp
Washington STEAM Multilingual Academy
#BearsOnTheRise – The Intersection of STEAM & Social-Emotional Learning

Angela Baxter
Willard Elementary
Creating Access for All, Contemporary Music Making in the Core Classroom

Charlene Tucker
Wilson Middle School

Teacher Grants

Altadena Elementary

Vivian Alfonso
Courtney Linsey
Thitaporn Acosta
Karina Karakhanian
Amanda Van Enk Gould
Meghan Livengood

Blair IB

Xiomara Tovar
Maria Garcia
Luis Escalante
Liliana Tang

Marlene Cabrera

Grace Keshishian

Michael Birnbryer-Lao

Patricia Gorse

Kestutis Daugirdas

Daniel Webster Elementary

Linda Benn

Don Benito

Yvonne Davis
Nadine Jakovich
John Van Laar

Eliot Arts

Erica Peters
Natalie Daily
Micol Issa
Bethel Lira
Janet Hart
Fabiola Acevedo
Erika Moore
Rosemarie Evans
Robert Moya
Camyrin Sharp
Felicia Lee
Denise Seider
Mark Greene
Liane Shih

Field Elementary
Shu Zhang
Muchen Yang
June Kiesel
Yiyuan Zhang

Focus Point

Donna Shepard
Kathleen Saxton

Franklin Elementary

Melissa McClintock
Gretchen Elm
Rebecca Tashjian Cormalis

Hamilton Elementary

Merina Myklak
Claudia Gonzalez
Julie Ysassi
Marion Yamada

Jackson STEM Dual Language Immersion Magnet

Lissett Barron
Melissa Ruiz
Julie Silk
Tina Minkler
Janneke Verhoeven
Jennifer Fernandez
Jocelyn Strickland
Ana Acosta
Diana Suarez
Ashley Nava
Katherine Taboada
Eva Jacnito
Rachel Black
Alejandra Mendoza

Jefferson Elementary

Candice Cooper Horn

John Muir High School

Kimberly Suarez
Karen Klages
Lysandra Arfaoui
Cassandra Franklin
Cynthia Lake


Kaiulani Sallas
Gina Sorensen-Hernandez
Carol Parker
Ani Karapetyan
Mary Shimazaki

Madison Elementary

Olivia Tu
Helena Alves
Chelsea Eshnaur

Marshall Fundamental

Suengmee Seo
Fara Valentine
Chloe Kiel-Mercado
Daarina Abdus-Samad
Consuelo Galvez
Leslie Stotlar
Marti MacInnes
Darcy Naganuma
Lewis Watson
Katrina Narvaez
Michael Millan
Kunhee Lee
Anusha Iyengar
Claire Haesang Park-Kolonay
Rebeca Cuellar
Richard Boiling

McKinley School

Lauren Partma
Cynthia Beale
Alison Garfinkel
Cynthia Macias
Stephanie Cox
Jessica Valdez
Anabella Reyes
Diana Morrison
Daniel Lopez

Norma Coombs Elementary

Wendy Giang
Debbie Breitenstein
Geoffrey Davis
Sally Sebenius

Pasadena High School

Stephanie Linardos
Kevin Wood
Benjamin Taylor
Roger Baar
Anne Rardin
Jonathan Gardner
Richard Chung
Lee Simoes
Daniel Adams
Amanda Hillig
Mark Atamian

Roosevelt Elementary

Julie McLean
Karla Orellana

Rose City High School

Eric Gothold
Richard Lightner
Adriana Lopez
Christopher Tolosa
Karina Gutierrez

San Rafael Elementary

Anne Stuart
Sonia Maldonado
Iris Gonzalez (Linares)

Sierra Madre Elementary

Ravi Dev Anandhan
Julie Cole
Dany Richey
Carolyn Halpern
Debbie Henderson
Lucy Chaparian

Sierra Madre Middle School

Lisabet Nepf
Gina Davis
Matthew Brooks

Washington STEM Magnet

Sumi Oh
David Earnhart
Katherine Mickelson
Karina Evans
Lanay Caver
Nicole Kim
Ines Ruan
Robert Ward
Laura MacDonald
Jameel Ellis

Washington STEAM Multilingual Academy

Byanka Haro-Banuelost


Linda Benn

Willard Elementary

Linda Wittry
Stacey Torres
Melanie Gray
Lu Cai
Marissa Robbins
Stephanie Nef
April Gomez

Wilson Middle

Griselda Hermosillo
Maritza Galaviz

Grant projects are:

Student centered.
Related to the curriculum.
Directly benefit students.
Enhance and Improve student achievement.

Grants are generally awarded to teachers in amounts up to $1,000, special awards up to $2,500, and school-wide grants up to $10,000.

Thank you to the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association, College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation, and the generous support of the community

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Support creativity in our schools!

Teacher Grants are one of the many ways the Pasadena Educational Foundation helps to create a vibrant and enriching educational experience for all public school children in Pasadena, Altadena, and Sierra Madre.