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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.

The Teacher Grants program is one of PEF’s signature programs, and has been around for almost 50 years.

Watch a video presentation and see more photos from the parade here.

See our Photo Gallery here.

Pasadena Unified (PUSD) teachers and principals are receiving $140,000 in grants thanks to the Pasadena Educational Foundation (PEF), College Football Playoff (CFP) Foundation, and Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association this year. The grants, awarded yearly, will benefit thousands of students in the public schools of Altadena, Pasadena, and Sierra Madre.

The 2020 PEF Teacher Grant awardees have been invited to decorate their cars and participate in the first-ever teacher celebratory parade in front of the PUSD district headquarters building. This year, 181 educators will receive awards representing 124 unique proposals from every school in the district. In addition, grants will be awarded to PUSD Children Centers, PUSD Child Welfare and Safety, and Pasadena Adult Living Skills Center. Many of this year’s grants focused on addressing the unique resource needs of distance learning such as remote dance & music performances, art exhibits, science experiments, and more. Ukuleles & percussion instruments, cameras to broadcast dance performances, take home art & science supplies, document cameras, and books in Spanish, French, Mandarin, and Armenian, are just a few of the diverse and vibrant educational projects that the 2020-21 PEF Teacher Grants are supporting.

In addition to grants directly to teachers, PEF awards three special awards, the Calvin Art Arts Award, Jarret Brunson Award for Literacy, and the Kathy Onoye Principals award.

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.

Support Our Teachers

Join the Pasadena Educational Foundation, College Football Playoff Foundation, Pasadena Tournament of Roses Foundation, PEF Staff, and the Teacher Grant Committee in celebrating our 2020 PEF Teacher Grant Winners!

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Teacher Grants New! Online Evaluation Form

PEF Teacher Grants 2020-21
Special Awards

Calvin Hunt Arts Award

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.

2020 Winner
Hillary Temple
Pasadena High School
Dance Room Download
With the purchase of a television and sound system students would be able to use their computers to broadcast their ideas and thoughts and become leaders via tech in the classroom through assignments and presentations. In addition this will upgrade the dance room to standards used at most Cal State and UC classrooms to enhance the experience of a beginning dancer.

Jarratt Brunson Memorial Award for Literacy

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.

2020 Winner
Kathryn Marquez
Madison Elementary
Libros Para Todos!
She will purchase Spanish language and bilingual books of all grade levels to place in their Little Free Libraries, so that their families, who do not presently have access to their school library, can read the stories and then return them for others to enjoy.

Kathy Onoye Principal Award

This award will go to the PUSD Administrator whose proposal best exemplifies their role in inspiring leadership.

2020 Winner
Angela Baxter
Willard IB
Ukuleles for All
The purpose of the project is to maximize musical experiences for children through the use of a grade level set of ukuleles during distance learning and beyond. The project will provide grade level ukulele experiences for all 4th graders during distance learning. Provide ukulele experiences for each grade level team 3-5 in the year following distance learning. Create a long term contemporary ukulele course for all 3rd graders at Willard. Create a generation of students that can play multiple musical instruments. Equip students with the ability to: become proficient at: playing rhythms, chords, and songs on the ukulele; and give students the opportunity to invent and create their own songs individually or in cooperative groups.

Teacher Grant Awards 2020-21

Altadena Arts Magnet

Tia Acosta

Storytelling, Songs, and Finger plays using Flannel Stories and Finger Puppets


Regina Major

Lights ~ Camera ~ Action


Soraya Benamer

French immersion program


Vivian Alfonso

Teachers Pay Teachers Digital Lessons


Sophie Durand

French Distance Learning


Jose Guzman

Sandbox and Portable Water Wall


Lita Haido-Mayer

Engaging Virtual Instruction


Meghan Livengood

French and English Classroom Materials


Stephanie Lopez

Project Based Learning at Home


Kylie Santanello

Learning to Love Reading!


Amanda Van Enk Gould

Tools for Distance Learning


Ashley Webb

Bring My Virtual Classroom to Life!


Blair IB School

Luis Escalante

Lexia Reading Intervention


Maria-Teresa Garcia

LEXIA Reading intervention


Jesus Cobian Baca

Student of the Month Care Package


Adria Espinoza

Lexia for ELD Students


James Goffred

Increase offerings for new Armenian DLIP Program


Patricia Gorse

Math Rocks!


Elisa Perez

Welcome Home


Xiomara Tovar

Lexia Core Reading


Veronica Yepez

Running with a Purpose


Monique Baca-Geary

Writer’s Workshop


Kestutis Daugirdas

Keyboard Lab


Jennifer Dimas

Upright Bass Addition to School Inventory


Veronica Alcantar

Art Integration


Elizabeth Najera

Reading en español and Our Community Garden


Don Benito Fundamental

Yvonne Davis

Whip Cream, Sprinkles and a Cherry on Top!


Heather Huezo

Little Readers, BIG deal!


Christine Sandoval

Multiplying Math Masters


Frania  Rodriguez

SDC Sensory & Peace Corner


Eliot Arts Magnet

Dr. Jane G Lambert

Integrating Literacy in Math Class with Scholastic News Math Magazines


Robert Moya

Pop Up Art Shows


Field Elementary

Denise Burciaga

Helping Me Teach in a digital World.


Starene Cruse

Projecting  Learning


June Kiesel

Bring Learning Outside. Bring Learning to Life.


Zhongqiang Sun

Fun China World Project


Anqi Deng

Teacher-use and Student-use Distance Learning Project


Xiaofei Lei

Virtual Mandarin Learning Rocks!


Wanyi  Wu

Better Chinese Reader Sets for Guided Reading


Yiyuan Zhang

Mandarin Mania (cont.)


Shu Zhang

Need help to make my math class alive!


Focus Point Academy

Richard Carbajal

Volleyball Game Pack


Ricardo Peinado

Word Master


Hamilton Elementary

Kristyn Shiohama

Learning A-Z, Virtually!


Julie Ysassi

Learning Bins


Stephanie Elliott

Books for Social Justice


Jackson STEM Dual Language Magnet Academy

Elizabeth Holle

Rockin’ the Dynamic Digital Virtual ClassroomSpicing up the Virtual Classroom


Alejandra Jimenez

Ebooks for E-learning Read Alouds


Ana Paik

“The wonders of virtual learning with technology”


Rita Exposito

A Cloud of Books All Around Us


Jennifer Fernandez

PBL Love


Shanon Smith

Increasing Student Focus and Engagement


Diana   Suarez

Student Engagement AND Home & School Connection


Jefferson Children’s Center

Carolina Arizaga

Jefferson CC Peace Garden



John Muir High School Early College Magnet

Ryan Flores

Conic Dough


Micol Issa

Muir Media Library


Cynthia Lake

Still speaks loudly!

Kimberly Knudson

Art Of Fulfillment

Longfellow Children’s Center

Janine  Montanez

Preschool: Grow A Garden project


Longfellow Elementary

Mavis Brown

Better internet connectivity


Madison Elementary

Patricia Guzman

Distant Learning Enhancement


Helena Alves

Students Treasure Becoming Publishers


Kathy   Marquez

Libros Para Todos!


Nancy  Cruzat

  1. E. Equipments


Yolanda Munoz

Cursive Writing without Tears


Marshall Fundamental

Suengmee Seo

Document Camera for Online learning


Sara Agvanian

Making Math Fun on Line


Ana F Chavez

Document Camera as teaching tool


Consuelo Galvez

Upgraded Learning


Marti Macinnes

Podcast Unit


Daarina Abdus-Samad

“Hands-On Art Supplies!”


Jason   Tello

Supporting Students with Disabilities Using a Document Camera


Jonathan Gould

Marshall Music Theater Program – 2021 Spring Musical


Christine Gunnell

Make Room for Science(labs)


Luis Rendon

Can Art Change the World (creative maladjustment)

Mckinley School of the Arts

Emily Brink

Online Learning Necessities


Nicholas Bruno

GoZen! (Online programs to manage stress & build resilience for kids)


Solange Desouza

Enhance Math and Science classes


Sara Dave

Mckinley Fit

Diana   Morrison

Whiteboards and Markers and Books, Oh My!!

Lauren Partma

Building a Love for Reading and Writing



Norma Coombs Elementary

Wendy Giang

Early Childhood


Debbie Breitenstein

Building An At Home Library


Pasadena High School

Roger Baar

AP Chemistry Lab Equipment


Richard “Darin” Basgall

Document Projector for Student Collaboration Activities


Anthony Brooks

Remote classroom


Richard Chung

Online Resources for Special Education Math


David Flores

There There Class Novel Set: Honoring Indigenous Americans and our Local Communities


Hillary  Temple

Dance Room Download


Marian Pena

Making Math Interactive and Engaging


PUSD Adult Living skills program

Melanie Hackman

Document camera


PUSD Alternative to Suspension Classroom- CWAS

Elsa Gutierrez

Reading and Cooking with Restorative Justice


PUSD Child Welfare, Attendance and Safety Department

Olivia Tu

Art and Social- Emotional Learning Integration


PUSD Health Programs, Home Hospital Teaching

Diana   Stern

Bringing Content Alive Through Art


Rose City High School

Richard Lightner

Career Portfolio and Business Plan Project


Brian   Stanley

Rose City Internship Program


San Rafael Elementary

Fabiana Isasa de Soto

¡Listos para Aprender!


Berenize Leal

Virtual Book Club


Sierra Madre Elementary

Yolanda Boyer

A Gathering Place


Carolyn Halpern

Hands-on Science Experiments through Distance Learning


Barbara Ishida

Art At Home, School and Around Us


Laura Palmer



Dany Richey

Little STEAMers


Gretchen Elm

Leveled Reading Groups Connect Us During Covid


Debbie Henderson

eBooks for SME Library


Regina Jeffers

Encouraging Engagement in Elementary Environments


Charlene Tucker

Sierra Madre Elementary Parent/Guardian Cafe Series



Sierra Madre Middle School

Gina Davis

Continuing the Garden at Sierra Madre Middle School


Armenui Manasarian

Hawk News


Karyn Messler

Hawks Soaring through History


Christine Mitchell

Art in Math and Science


Washington Children’s Center

Maria Baker

Hands-On STEAM and Language Arts Materials for Preschoolers


Washington Elementary STEM Magnet

Cindy Abbott

Take-home instruments for the entire school


David Earnhart

Kinder Intro to In-person Learning Through Outdoor Play


Wenonah Green

Mystery Science Hands-On Activity Supplies


Katherine Mickelson

Synergizing with Unit of Study in a VIrtual and Blended Classroom


Washington STEAM Multilingual Academy

Natalie Daily

Get Them Hooked!


Cassandra Nevarez

WSMA Instrumental Music Program


Webster Elementary

Candice Cooper Horn

Hands On! During Virtual Learning


Romy   Cisneros

Positive Communication Supports for Special Education Preschoolers


Linda  Keavy

Art Across Pasadena a Virtual Exhibit


Willard IB Elementary

Linda Wittry

Ipads for song creating, music videos and infomercials


Wendy Barton

Maximizing Time for Student Learning


Angela Baxter

Full grade-level set of Ukuleles

Teachers & Principals

PEF GRANTS 2019-20
Special Awards

See Our 2019 Awards Photo Gallery

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

Want to see the 2018-19 Grants?
Click Here!

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.