Kinecta Community

2019 Kinecta Teaching Grants for Growth Winners

Congratulations to this year’s recipients!


CHERYL CARTER-HARRIS

CHERYL CARTER-HARRIS

Cheryl has been teaching mathematics for 20 years. She currently teaches AP Calculus, AP Statistics and Pre-Calculus at Carson High School. Cheryl’s project, “Machines That Make You Screeeaaam!!!” will allow her students to use trigonometry and physics to build a working model rollercoaster. Her students will later showcase their projects to their peers, parents, and members of their community at Carson High School’s annual Roller Coaster Day, scheduled for May 2020.


KINDRA NOELL ANDERSON

KINDRA NOELL ANDERSON

Kindra, a 2015 graduate from Oklahoma Christian University, has spent the last two-and-a-half years teaching at 99th Street Elementary in Watts, one of the lowest income areas in Los Angeles County. Kindra plans to purchase new single-student desks with the grant proceeds, which will allow her students to create in collaborative learning clusters. She notes that learning how to work with peers and sharing ideas in a collaborative environment is important to the development of kindergarteners. Kindra dedicates many hours volunteering for an after-school program and at the Haven Academy of the Arts. She grew up in the South Bay and has proudly maintained her community roots.


MARLA BOYD ATKINSON

MARLA BOYD ATKINSON

Marla teaches high school Spanish in Washington State. She has 20 years of experience in the public school system, teaching all levels of high school Spanish, including College in the High School, Advanced Placement, and Spanish for Spanish-Speakers courses. Marla earned her B.A. in Spanish from Central Washington University in 1998, a Master of Education from the University of Washington in 2004, and her National Board Certification in 2011. Kinecta’s Teaching Grant will allow Marla to purchase 2-3 class sets of Spanish novels for her students. She anticipates that having access to compelling, level-appropriate novels will help her students accelerate their language acquisition and will promote reading for joy!


DR. DIJANNA FIGUEROA

DR. DIJANNA FIGUEROA

Dijanna teaches middle school science at St. Matthew’s Parish School in Pacific Palisades. She has spent more than two decades teaching K-8 STEAM and formerly served as global director of the Muse School National Geographic Society’s Green STEAM program. She also holds advisory roles with many STEM/STEAM nonprofits. Kinecta’s Teaching Grant will provide innovative technology access to the Lucas Scholars STEAM program — a five-day, project-based, free summer learning program for underserved and low-income students. Students leave the Lucas Scholars program motivated by skill development, achievement, and their success in project and technology-based learning.


REYNA LORENE SPAINHOUR

REYNA LORENE SPAINHOUR

Reyna has been teaching for 13 years in the Los Angeles area. She graduated in 2006 with a B.A. in Liberal Studies and a California State Teaching Credential. In 2016, Reyna obtained her master’s degree in teaching reading. For the last three years, she has taught kindergarten at the Accelerated School in South Los Angeles. With limited funds, Reyna has been trying to help her students have creative and fun learning experiences. With an emphasis on science next year, the kindergarten team plans to use the proceeds from Kinecta’s Teaching Grant to take their students to the Kidspace Museum for a hands-on science learning experience.


TRACI ELIZABETH GRIZZLE

TRACI ELIZABETH GRIZZLE

Traci teaches Special Day Class for K-2nd grade students with moderate to severe Autism Spectrum Disorder at Sankofa Academy in Oakland, California. She has worked in Special Education since 2006 and has been a Special Education teacher since 2011. Sankofa Academy is an inner-city school whose students’ families are struggling financially. The students often experience emotional and/or physical trauma from food insecurity, lack of parental guidance, substance abuse, as well as domestic and gang violence. Kinecta’s Teaching Grant will allow Traci to purchase items for students who require positive intervention to self-regulate in accordance with their Social Emotional Learning curriculum. She hopes that providing the students with better tools and strategies will help them refocus and be calm, which will lead to growth and academic success.