20 Grants Awarded in Record-Breaking Foundation Grant Day


LFHS Foundation

Mr. Schuessler celebrates receiving a grant award certificate for new microscopes.

Ryan Peters, Editor

On Feb. 28, LFHS Foundation Trustees surprised 20 different faculty members and groups with grant award certificates. The annual event, known as “Grant Day,” resulted in the LFHS Foundation awarding 20 grants valued at just under $270,000, setting a record for the most funds allocated during any Grant Day in the history of the Foundation.

This year’s largest grant was awarded to the Theater department to upgrade the sound systems in both the RMA and DMT. The updated sound system is designed for students to learn how to live sound mix and phases out of the current analog system and transitions to digital sound. The sound systems will provide more reliable and professional-quality sound for all events in the theaters. 

The EdTech department then received a grant to upgrade the technology at TEDxLFHS. The new technology will attempt to provide an experience similar to that of the flagship TED talks stage in New York. One of the upgrades is a switch to a large single display instead of two smaller displays.

“Each year we try to kind of step it up and improve where we’re at. This year was kind of taking a look at some of the items we’ve had for a few years. We want to make it a little bit better, so one of the big things we’re doing is we’re going to a single display. In the past, we’ve had two TVs that we borrowed from the school, but this year we’re doing it with one giant TV,” said EdTech Advisor Mr. Holmer.

The new display is an 82’’ TV on wheels that will also be used for various events in the library. 

LFHS Foundation
Ms. Grigg and Mr. Juliano receive a grant award certificate to add video equipment to the sound studio.

Additionally, a new livestream device will allow the talks and other events to be broadcasted in HD on Facebook Live and YouTube Live. The EdTech crew was thrilled to receive the grant.

“When we get home, it’s always like, wow, like that’s crazy cool. Yeah, we were always planning the TEDx event as is, but we’re excited that we get [the grant] because we can implement it almost instantly,” said TEDxLFHS Creative Director Mr. Juliano. 

EdTech also received a grant to add video equipment to the sound studio. This user-friendly video equipment will allow students who don’t take New Media or understand the editing software to have a place to easily create high-quality videos. 

“We wanted to create a place where students can come in, basically click a button, have professional audio and video done very quickly with no fuss,” said Mr. Juliano. 

The video equipment complements the audio equipment already in the sound studio and will be available for all students to use. 

The Science department was also awarded two major grants: one for new state-of-the-art microscopes and the other for new lab furniture for one classroom. The new professional-grade microscopes replace all of the current economy grade microscopes and allow for students to match the lenses with their glasses prescription, while the furniture can be moved easily to accommodate transitioning from working in pairs to large groups. The Foundation hopes that the flexible furniture will allow the teacher and students to move around freely, encouraging more collaboration. 

One of the largest grants of the day went to the Wellness department to upgrade the equipment in the weight room. The Foundation’s goal is to replace the worn-out weights and provide equipment more geared toward newer lifters. 

“A lot of the dumbbells are the same dumbbells that I used when I was going to school here 20 years ago,” said Wellness teacher Mr. Jerina. “We have a large influx of newer lifters with less experience, so [we saw a need for] the use of trap bars, as opposed to the traditional deadlift, and bumper plates to elevate the weights up off the floor.”

The new equipment will be available to all users of the weight room. LFHS Boosters has committed 10% of the funding for the grant. 

The Applied Technology department received a grant for four new 3-D printers. The new 3-D printers, which will be in the CAD classroom and Maker Space, are a response to the increased usage of the six current machines. 

“What we notice over time is that as the kids use them, more and more of the classes kind of integrate the 3D printers, so what we put in for is four of the newest 3-D printers from MakerBot that have some of the best, newest technology… and user-friendliness to it,” said Mr. Holmer.

LFHS Foundation
Mrs. Doucette receives funding for new display stands and panels.

Two of the current printers will remain for prototyping, but the new ones will be better suited for different materials and will be able to create more complex items.

Other major grants awarded on Grant Day include new art display stands and panels, five MacBook Pros available for student checkout, and new lifeguarding equipment. Special Education received funding for walkie talkies for streamlined communication among other emotional support resources, while the Math department received 20 TI-84 graphing calculators for student checkout.

LFHS Foundation
Ms. Pausch rejoices after receiving a grant to implement LFHS Reads.

The remaining grants were awarded to four different groups of teachers who received funding for trips to workshops and programs in their respective fields, Bass Fishing Club, who was awarded new equipment to make the club more available to a greater amount of students, the Wellness department, who received four new table tennis tables and frisbee golf equipment, and the English department and Library, who were awarded funds to implement a summer reading program where students will be given books rather than purchasing them. 

After this year’s record-breaking Grant Day, the LFHS Foundation has now awarded over $2.5 million in grants over the past 18 years.