Press Archive

2011-2012 Press

The University of Texas at Austin 6/26/2012


Students at The University of Texas at Austin have been changing the world for more than 125 years. One factor that helps attract the best undergraduate and graduate students — regardless of financial circumstances — is endowed scholarships.

What sets endowed scholarships apart from other types of financial assistance? Gifts given as endowments are invested and never spent, so the dividends become scholarship awards year after year. Scholarships from these endowments allow students to concentrate on world-changing research and academics.

In fact, in 2011-2012 alone UT awarded 7,726 separate endowed scholarships and fellowships to students, 1,587 of which were held by graduating students who earned their degrees.

This is the first in a five-part series profiling some of UT’s inspiring endowed scholarship recipients.

When Zuri Garcia needed money to pay her tuition, she went straight to the top.

She walked to the Tower, found President Bill Powers’ office, and asked to see him.

The president wasn’t in, but his staff put her in touch with Dean of Student Affairs Dr. Juan González instead. Her story touched him profoundly.

When Garcia was 13, her mother abandoned her while Garcia was visiting her aunt and uncle in Irving, Texas. Because of that experience Garcia decided the only way she could provide for herself was to get an education. “That’s what is going to afford me a nice home one day,” she says.

Garcia began volunteering at North Lake Community College in Irving, where her aunt worked. She turned professors’ notes into PowerPoint presentations, eventually charging $5 an hour for her services.

Later she found work at Lincoln Technical Institute. It was there, while working as the director of first impressions, that she met Sherry Miller, who was traveling the country in an RV with her husband, Jim. Miller asked Garcia to help her learn some computer skills.

Garcia and Miller’s relationship grew as they met together every week in Miller’s RV for lessons. Garcia had been accepted to UT Austin but had deferred enrollment because she didn’t have the money for a deposit.

Garcia thought she would have to defer again when one day Miller gave her a check for $1,000.

Garcia came to UT with the money, put down her deposit, and knocked on President Powers’ door so she could tell him, “I deserve to be here.”

Dr. Gonzalez didn’t just listen to Garcia’s story. He recommended she be awarded the Margaret Alexander Steiner Endowed Scholarship, which paid for her tuition.

“Scholarships are the only reason I graduated,” she says. “Otherwise there was no way I would have made it.”

Along with endowed scholarships, Garcia was a recipient of a 2011-2012 grant from the McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation, which she says, “really helped reinforce what my teaching philosophy has become.”

Garcia graduated in May and will start work as a third-grade teacher in the fall.

“Ten years ago I had no idea I would be eligible for college, much less graduating from such a prestigious one, and even more so that I would receive this amount of support to finish my degree,” she says. “I hope to help other potential students find their way down the college path to excellence.”

Indiana Public Media 7/6/2011

Indy Charter (Which We So Happen To Be Profiling) Wins $30,000 Grant

Kyle Stokes / StateImpact Indiana

Christel House Academy teacher Jennifer Gillespie assists a student playing a game.

Did you catch this blurb in the Indianapolis Star this morning about charter school Christel House Academy?

A $30,000 grant will help Christel House Academy teachers turn students into better writers. The three-year grant from the McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation will help the academy’s teachers become writing mentors to students.

Coincidentally, StateImpact Indiana visited the school last Friday to conduct interviews and visit classes for a feature we’re working on (look for that coming up next week).

Here’s what caught our attention about this charter school: 95 percent of its 520-or-so students receive free or reduced-price lunch. No other school with that many underprivileged students scored as well on state standardized tests — 71 percent of the school’s students passed the language and math portions of the ISTEP+.

Christel House Academy principal and executive director Carey Dahncke said last week that the school’s annual budget is around $7 million. The lion’s share of that money comes from state and federal support that would go to any public school. 12 percent of their budget money comes from private donations and competitive grants.

“Being a part of the Christel House Foundation, we have access to a grant writer,” Dahncke told us in an interview, adding with a chuckle “…whom we keep very busy.”

By the way, the school gets its name from founder Christel DeHaan, an Indianapolis philanthropist and a noted supporter of “school choice” laws passed in the state legislature this year — laws that expand charter schools’ role in Indiana K-12 education.

The Oregonian 6/9/2011

Rowe Middle School receives $20,000 teacher development grant

MILWAUKIE — Rowe Middle School was recently awarded a three-year, $20,400 teacher development grant from the McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation.
The grant will go toward Project Go!, a program designed to promote teacher development and learning in laboratory classrooms.

According to a press release from the district, the “Foundation particularly appreciated the project’s focus on the whole school.”

During the three years, 12 project labs for six or more teachers will help facilitate discussion about different teaching experiences and responsibilities.

The hope is that skills developed in the lab will support the teachers’ instructional development and provide them with resources throughout their careers, Jane Abe, Foundation Trustee and Project Go! Mentor said.

Labs will focus on supporting new teachers, re-energizing mid-career teachers and offering both the skills and knowledge of veteran teachers. A copy of the lab highlights will be available to other teaching staff and those interesting in implementing a similar project.

For more information about the grant or Project Go! Contact Leslie Robinette at 503-353-6018.


2010-2011 Press

The Portland Daily Sun 5/3
iPads coming to Lincoln Middle music classrooms
iPad computers will soon serve as composition instruments at Lincoln Middle School thanks to a two-year, $14,000.00 grant from the McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation.

Teacher Bethany Kirkpatrick received the Academic Enrichment Grant for her music education project, “See My Song, Hear My Voice,” in which the classroom becomes a music technology laboratory.

“This innovative project is particularly noteworthy,” commented Professor Sarah J. McCarthey, Foundation co-founder and President, “in that students learn not only by reading, hearing, and writing about music but also by composing and sharing their experiences.”

Students produce original compositions that reflect each unit of music study, from jazz to an original score. Students will ultimately perform their original compositions for family and the community.

“The Foundation has been such a gift to my students and to me personally that words can not express the extent of my gratitude,” said Kirkpatrick. “This grant is touching not only my students during the two years of its funding, but also will impact my teaching for many years to come.”

Kirkpatrick began this first year working with her smallest groups of students on simple compositions using iPad computers. In December, students created a CD of their original music. They are now in the process of composing their final projects including a second CD and an i-movie to accompany their songs.

Superintendent’s Notebook: Schools are grateful for grants | The 
 from the McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation. This spring, students are completing work on their second CD and an iMovie to accompany their songs. 

Nancy Badertscher
April 6, 2011

A solar-powered computer lab project at Fulton County’s Creekside High School is the winner of a $10,000 grant from the McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation. The lab was the brainchild of the Fairburn school’s teacher, Douglas Edwards. Sarah J McCarthey, president of the foundation’s board of trustees, called it an “exceptional project that brings mathematics, physical science and technology to life with an impact on students in other parts of the world. Edwards said Creekside students are solving a problem faced by students in rural Arusha, Tanzania: power losses that frequently interrupt their computer classes.


Cutting-Edge, Collaborative and Global Projects Include a Complete Music Education Program Using the iPad; Bronx Science Program Networked Worldwide; a Solar Power Computer Lab, Destination Tanzania; iPad-Based Curriculum for a Charter School.

Salt Lake City, Utah. September 13, 2010. Business Wire.
Professor Sarah J. McCarthey, President of the McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation has announced the 2010/2011 academic year recipients of the Foundation’s Academic Enrichment Grants, Teacher Development Grants and Scholarships.

The Foundation funded four Academic Enrichment Grants at two high schools and two middle schools with disadvantaged, predominantly minority students; four Teacher Development Grants at a middle school, a rural school and two charter schools; and four student teacher scholarships.

Professor McCarthey remarked, “The projects are noteworthy for their conceptual sophistication, their significance within and beyond the classroom, their collaborative focus and creative incorporation of technology as a learning and communication tool. Technology plays a major role across a spectrum of subjects from music, the arts and writing to math and science and provides a means to connect, share, and exchange ideas and results with other teachers, students, family and communities in the U.S. and abroad.”

Academic Enrichment Grantees: 
Douglas Edwards, Riverdale, Georgia; Tabitha Hargrove, Bronx, New York; Bethany Kirkpatrick, Westbrook, Maine; Benjamin Vazquez, Santa Ana, California.

Teacher Development Grantees: Paul Bailey, Hemet, California; Libby Duggan, Indianapolis, Indiana; Sabrina Flamoe, Portland, Oregon; Connie Walser, Burlington, Washington

Scholarship Recipients: Laura Beatty, West Virginia University; Helen Bolen, New Mexico State University; Nicole Sophia Ochoa, New Mexico State University; Son Tran, University of Texas, Austin.

Academic Enrichment Grants integrated hands-on learning with a focus on real issues and problems into their overall objective of improving individual academic performance,” noted McCarthey. “Of significance is the development of collaborative efforts that bring students from different backgrounds in a single school together, and in leveraging both local and global alliances.” In the “Science for the Community” program at a Bronx Middle School, for example, students will interface with the GLOBE Program, a worldwide network of students, teachers and scientists working together to study and understand the environment.

In addition to the Bronx science project which turns students into community change agents by putting them in the role of researchers, innovators, advocates and entrepreneurs working to solve problems in their communities, Academic Enrichment Grants were awarded to a “Solar Power Computer Lab” to be developed at a high school in Georgia and then sent to a student laptop computer lab in rural Tanzania; “See My Song. Hear My Voice,” a complete music education program using the iPad; and a “Holistic Approach to Research and Writing” in Chicano studies.

McCarthey also applauded the innovative applications of technology in the Teacher Development Grants as well as their commitment to provide integrated educational environments in which teachers are not separated by academic content and students no longer compartmentalize learning. “The teamwork among teachers of different levels of experience, expertise and specialization who will model and learn from each other will significantly contribute to the quality of teaching and learning,” commented McCarthey.

Teacher Development Grants include the development of an iPad curriculum for use in a charter middle school in core subject areas as well as in field ecology, paleontology, archaeology, biology, environmental science, Latin and engineering; “Teachers as Writing Mentors,” a K-8 collaborative teaching/learning curriculum; Project Go!, based on the project lab classroom model; and “Improving the Quality of Teaching & Learning” in a rural school by creating a paradigm shift through intensive teacher collaboration, team teaching and an inclusive curriculum that integrates social studies content with reading and writing.

THE McCARTHEY DRESSMAN EDUCATION FOUNDATION is dedicated to serving students and teachers in developing interests, strategies and skills needed to enhance society. The Foundation recognizes the struggle educators too often face in bringing exceptional teaching to their students. Ever-tightening budgets and skyrocketing technology and supply costs now make it more difficult than ever for educators in all areas — k-12, after school, and advanced study — to introduce new programs and projects to children who need them most. To that end, the Foundation awards grants and scholarships to those projects and/or initiatives with significant potential to enrich the educational experiences for all children. Application deadline for grants and scholarships is May 1st of each



2009-2010 Press




Morgantown, WV. February 4, 2010
Professor Sarah J. McCarthey, President of the McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation, announced that Ashley A. King is a 2009/2010-scholarship recipient. The Foundation has awarded four scholarships of $6000.00 each for the current academic year from among 41 applicants.

Candidate for a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master’s in Secondary Education, Ms. King is currently working to complete more than 1,000 hours of student teaching in ninth grade English at Morgantown High School. With a cumulative GPA of 4.0/4.0 and a minor in Spanish, she will graduate May 2010. “Receiving a scholarship from the McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation is a true honor,” noted Ms. King. “It enables me to better focus on my student teaching experience and enrich my development as a prospective teacher.” Her work experience includes participating in the Coordinating Council for Independent Living, the West Virginia Dialect Project, Sylvan Learning Center, and the WVU Writing Center.

Professor McCarthey noted that Foundation scholarships are designed to instill a lifelong, passionate commitment to education and learning at the highest level. “Our scholarships provide financial and mentoring support to educators who are student teaching in their final year of teacher education programs at New Mexico State University, University of California, Santa Cruz, University of Texas at Austin, and West Virginia University.”


“Fascinating Forensics” One of Three Academic Enrichment Projects Funded Out of 200 Applicants across the U.S.

Bakersfield, CA.
Sarah J. McCarthey, President of the McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation, announced that “Fascinating Forensics” proposed by Sing Lum Elementary Teacher Brook Webb is one of three to receive an Academic Enrichment Grant out of 200 applications nationwide. The project will receive more than $7000.00 in funding.

“Fascinating Forensics is an innovative approach to elementary education that integrates appropriate forensics curriculum into state-adopted, standards-based curriculum,” noted Professor McCarthey. “Students will be actively engaged in critical thinking, data analysis, logistics and deductive reasoning skills on a continuous basis. Each content area presents a novel gateway to the study of language arts, grammar, mathematics, science and social studies/history.”

Students will learn how the three branches of the U.S. government work together to create, implement and enforce the law. Interview techniques will teach communication and memory skills; physical evidence lessons will present the sciences and social studies in a nontraditional format. “This program will revolutionize the way students feel about learning,” added Professor McCarthey, “by making them the investigators of their own educational experiences.”

Preliminary Administrative Credential Certified, Mrs. Webb holds a Master of Arts in Education Administration from California State University Bakersfield. “Receiving the McCarthey Dressman Academic Enrichment Grant is such a joy and honor,” commented Mrs. Webb. She is also the recipient of other grants and awards including those from Tool Factory Olympus Podcasting, Kern County Museum “Living History Day,” AIAA Science, History of a Nation, Chevron Energy for Learning, among others. She is a member of the American Institute for History Education, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, California Teachers Association, National Education Association, and the Association of California School Administrators.


200 Applicants across the U.S. Competed for the Foundation’s 2009/2010 Academic Enrichment Grants: “On-Site/Insight” One of Only Three Projects Funded

Atlanta, GA. December 8, 2009.
Sarah J. McCarthey, President of the McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation, announced that an art project at Henry W. Grady & George Washington Carver High Schools has received its third year of funding. The project “On-Site/Insight” is one of three to receive an Academic Enrichment Grant out of 200 applications nationwide. The Foundation has awarded an Academic Enrichment Grant in the amount of $7000.00 again this year to the project for a total of $21,000.00.

The 2009/2010 funding of “On-Site/Insight” will support a series of collaborative events between Grady and Carver High Schools as part of the overall project. “This project is an excellent example of a groundbreaking effort that relates to students’ lives and increases teachers’ abilities to reflect on their own practices,” noted Professor McCarthey. “Collaborative projects like “On-Site/Insight” break down subject matter barriers and bring teachers and students together to develop meaningful cross-disciplinary projects.”

In the first two years of “On-Site/Insight,” Grady, Carver, and M. Agnes Jones Elementary School students visited the High Museum to view the permanent collection, learn about its history and how to communicate the significance of the collection to elementary school students. Students developed interdisciplinary curriculum to explore contemporary art through museum-based learning and serve as tour guides in the museum.

“The generous support of the McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation has taken us on many great adventures and produced permanent artifacts for multiple locations involving hundreds of students from the full range of cultural backgrounds,” noted Grady Fine Arts Department and Fine Arts Academy Director John Charles Brandhorst. “Unprecedented partnerships from the High Museum portion of “On-Site/Insight” have led to a new set of interactions that the Foundation is generously funding this academic year.”

According to Director Brandhorst, the 2009/2010 project will build on the High Museum experience and memorialize it on both the Grady and Carver campuses where students will collaboratively produce matching sculptures The Stonehenge-like sculptures or “cairns” will be identical in design and fabrication; the cairns will align with each other across the distance between the two schools. “Typically schools meet to compete making this type of collaboration between schools quite rare,” added Director Brandhorst. “One of the aims of this project is to remind school communities that we are after the same things; truth, teamwork, beauty, and participation.” Names of stakeholders including the McCarthy/Dressman Education Foundation will be sandblasted into the surface of the cairns.


“The Greening of a Desert” Project at Pedro Albizu Campos High School – One of Three Funded Projects from among 200 Applications Nationwide

Chicago, IL. December 8, 2009.
Professor Sarah J. McCarthey, President of the McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation, announced that “The Greening of a Desert” program at Pedro Albizu Campos High School (PACHS) has been awarded $10,000.00 for the 2009/2010 academic year. The funding can be renewed for two more years for a total award of $30,000.00 depending on the design of the project. “The Greening of a Desert” is one of only three out of 200 applications nationwide to receive an Academic Enrichment Grant.

Carlos R. DeJesus, Assistant Principal and Director of the Urban Agriculture Initiative and the Community Scholars Program at PACHS described “The Greening of a Desert” as a school-based program in urban agriculture. “The mission is to enhance the engagement of our students in addressing the community’s designation as a food desert,” commented Director DeJesus. “Currently, community residents have to leave the community and travel to other communities in order to purchase affordable, fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs.”

Professor McCarthey described the program as an outstanding example of a an innovative educational effort that challenges a system that has focused on testing and standards by introducing real world, problem-based curriculum. “The Foundation’s Board of Trustees were impressed by this creative yet pragmatic program that relates to students’ lives and the community in which they live,” commented Professor McCarthey.

PACHS will establish a student-designed, student- coordinated Urban Community Farm in Chicago’s Humboldt Park. “PACHS provides its students, all of whom have dropped out or have been pushed out of public high schools, with a highly supportive, student-centered environment in which to undo years of negativity and failure in prior schools and rekindle their innate curiosity and love of learning,” added Director DeJesus. “Students learn the value of service learning and community engagement; that the community is an ecosystem; and that their well-being as individuals is intimately tied to the well-being of their community.”

According to Director DeJesus, PACHS students are engaged in problem-based learning in which they are encouraged to research, deliberate and come up with solutions to the community’s food desert status and related health issues. Student recommendations have already fueled community-wide urban agriculture initiatives: a campaign to encourage community residents to grow their own food through backyard and rooftop gardens; development of a greenhouse at PACHS and on the rooftops of buildings along Paseo Boricua; and an urban community farm in Humboldt Park, a 209-acre park located within the community’s boundaries.


Austin, Texas. Salt Lake City, Utah. November 5, 2009.
Professor Sarah J. McCarthey, President of the McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation, announced that Jenna Rae De La Rosa is a 2009/2010-scholarship recipient. The Foundation awarded four scholarships of $6000.00 each for the current academic year from among 41 applicants.

De La Rosa is in her last semester at the University of Texas at Austin. An Elementary Education major, she is serving as an Apprentice Teacher full time. Recipient of a 2005 Presidential Award Scholarship and a University Honors student, De La Rosa has earned certification in both “Early Childhood to Fourth Grade Generalist” and “Pedagogy and Professional Responsibility.” She will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Learning and Development. “I am very thankful and feel very honored to be a McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation recipient,” commented De La Rosa.

McCarthey noted that Foundation scholarships are designed to instill a lifelong, passionate commitment to education and learning at the highest level. “Our scholarships provide financial and mentoring support to educators who are student teaching in their final year of teacher education programs at New Mexico State University, University of California, Santa Cruz, University of Texas at Austin, and West Virginia University.” Other 2009/2010 Scholarships recipients are Jocelyn Kadas, Coronado, California; Ashley King, Morgantown, West Virginia; and Chad Rountree, Las Cruces, New Mexico.


Trend to the Creative, Interdisciplinary, and Collaborative Reflected in New Projects
Funded by the McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation PDF

 2008 Press

Brenda Armstrong
The Richmond Globe

Ann Collier
Denver Post

Wanda Melton
Laurens Advertiser
Columbia Star

Raymond Veon
Atlanta Journal Constitution

Genevieve Goldstein
Pajaro Valley Unified School District Webpage

Heather Bruce
The University of Montana Webpage
The Missoulian

Jim Smith
Mountain View Telegraph

Walter Lewis
The Salt Lake Tribune
The Enterprise
South Valley Journal

Martha Ann Flores
Las Cruces Sun-News