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Plano ISD Educators Get Surprise Grants

Murphy schools plan for new books, outdoor space

By Catherine Ross
|  Thursday, Nov 3, 2011  |  Updated 7:42 PM CDT
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The Plano ISD Education Foundation delivered surprise grants to 140 educators in the district.

Catherine Ross, Plano Journalist

The Plano ISD Education Foundation delivered surprise grants to 140 educators in the district.

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About 140 educators were in for a happy surprise on Thursday morning.

“It’s the best day of the year, as far as the Education Foundation is concerned,” said Dr. Mark Johnson, who chairs the Plano Education Foundation’s Grants for Education program.

“We’ve had teachers jump up and down and scream,” he said.

Several groups of the so-called Plano ISD Prize Patrol covered the 100-square-mile district, awarding annual grants to deserving educators.

For Murphy Middle School Assistant Principal Sonja Pegram, it was a total surprise.

“I thought it was probably students coming into my office to surprise me,” she said. “I was ready to tell them to go back to class.”

The grants will help cover things like books and supplies, extracurricular activities, special education and more.

Educators say because budget cuts hit very close to home this year, the money is needed more now than ever.

“We’re able to do this for the teachers, principals and administrators without having to deal with budget cuts. It’s definitely needed,” Dr. Johnson said.

The money raised by the Education Foundation totals $100,000.

It serves as a bonus, especially for programs like Pegram’s proposal to add an outdoor classroom to Murphy Middle School, something that under normal circumstances, would never have the funds to proceed.

“It’s a gift to the kids, a gift to their education…and not just for these students, but for every class that will come through these doors,” Pegram said.

The Plano ISD Education Foundation reports than in its 17 years of service, it has raised and committed nearly $7 million to the district’s schools.

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