IPSF 2021 Innovative Grant Awards

IPSF 2021 Innovative Grant Awards

February 26, 2021

Each year, Irvine Public Schools Foundation offers teachers, staff, and students in the Irvine Unified School District (IUSD) the opportunity to apply for funds through the Innovative Grants Program. Given the challenging economic and educational environment created by the global pandemic, IPSF’s Board of Trustees pledged to maintain total grant funding at 2019 level. This year’s program in total will award 25 projects and over $200,000 in grant monies to support innovative teaching and counseling methods in schools. The purpose of this grant program is to support innovation in schools by awarding funds to launch new curriculum or projects to improve the educational experiences of students.

Funding for this year’s Innovative Grants Program is made possible by corporate donations from Edison International, PPG Foundation, Assistance League of Irvine, and Exchange Club of Irvine, as well as parent donations to another IPSF program, Parents Appreciating Teachers and Staff (PATS), sponsored by Schools First Federal Credit Union.

Parents can make a donation in honor of outstanding teachers or school staff in their family’s life along with sharing a personalized certificate of appreciation. And all contributions to PATS help fund next year’s Innovative Grants Program awards! PATS will kick off this week atwww.ipsf.net/PATS, with all contributions benefitting innovation grants for teachers.

Donate to PATS

Since 1996, IPSF’s Innovative Grants Program has awarded over $2 million to teachers and counselors, benefiting over 200,000 students since the program’s inception. 

Thank you to our 2021 Innovative Grants Program sponsors

Congratulation to the 2021 Innovative Grant Program Recipients! 


School: Bonita Canyon Elementary School
Recipients: Anne Marquand
Name of Grant: Robotics and Coding – STEAM at its Best!

School: Brywood Elementary School
Recipients: Melody Rodriguez
Name of Grant: Bringing the World to ALL Students

School: Early Childhood Learning Center
Recipients: Amy Kadell and Tina Lo
Name of Grant: The Love of Literacy

School: Irvine High School
Recipients: Tim Jacobs
Name of Grant: Anatomy in Clay

Department: IUSD High School Instrumental Music
Recipients: Bob Avzaradel & Derek Venlet (IHS), Ben Case & Whitney Tavlarides (NHS), Corey Heddon & Grace Lee (UHS), Joslynne Blasdel & Brad Harris (WHS), Desmond Stevens & Kyle Traska (PHS)
Name of Grant: Music Performance in a Time of COVID-19

School: IUSD Virtual Academy
Recipients: Kris Linville
Name of Grant: RazKids for IVA Kids

School: University High School
Recipients: Alexa Stephens and Dominic Fratantaro
Name of Grant: Innovation Lab for Media Convergence

School: Vista Verde Middle School
Recipients: Liane Martin
Name of Grant: VEX IQ Robotics Lab for Elementary Students

School: Woodbridge High School
Recipients: Rob Blaney
Name of Grant: Keyboards & Microphones


School: Eastwood Elementary School
Recipient: Jon Nakano
Name of Grant: Wellness for Life

School: Portola High School
Recipients: Jill Cavotta, Amanda D’Avila, Madeline Greenwood, Kathy Hooper & Brianna Rapp
Grant Name: Expanding Student Agency and Voice Through Diverse Literature

School: University Park Elementary School
Recipient: Carrie Finley-Bajak
Name of Grant: Lights, Camera, Action!  
In partnership with Assistance League of Irvine

School: Northwood High School
Recipient: Kimberly Rohrs
Name of Grant: Drawing into the Future

School: Portola High School
Recipients: Amanda Cramer & Melissa Misenhimer
Name of Grant: Challenge Your Reading!  

School: Turtle Rock Elementary School
Recipient: Lisa Hoertig
Name of Grant: Bringing the Library Into the 21st Century

School: Early Childhood Learning Center
Recipients: Kristi Ecarma, Michelle Jo & Hannah Nanson
Name of Grant: Facilitating Inclusive Practices During Early Childhood Through Access to STEM Labs

School: Irvine High School
Recipient: Sheryl Sloate
Name of Grant: Virtual Dance Concert

School: Portola High School
Recipient: Donovan Miller
Name of Grant: Multi-Purpose Ceramic Kiln

School: Northwood High School
Recipient: Melissa Misenhimer
Name of Grant: Contactless Bibliotherapeutic Resources

School: Lakeside Middle School
Recipient: Danielle Morris
Name of Grant: The Beanstack Readers

School: Cadence Park School
Recipient: Karen Sposato
Name of Grant: Creative Music-Making

School: Westpark Elementary School 
Recipient: Katie Aldama 
Name of Grant: Joyful Heart, Joyful Mind  
In partnership with Exchange Club of Irvine 


School: Portola High School
Recipients: Simrah Ahmad, Saoud Moon & Shailee Sankhala
Name of Grant: Crossroads Initiative
In partnership with Assistance League of Irvine

School: Northwood High School
Recipients: Shani Lin & William Pan
Name of Grant: High School Student Forum: COVID-19 Care Packages

School: Woodbridge High School
Recipient: Mark Sotnikov
Name of Grant: Those Who Inspire Us
In partnership with Assistance League of Irvine