Ten teachers and a school counselor were recently named recipients of education grants awarded to educators in the South Washington County School District.

Benefactors included the H.B. Fuller Company Foundation, St. Croix Valley Foundation and 3M Cottage Grove, a district news release said.

Since 2008, H.B. Fuller has awarded about $200,000 to district teachers to assist in middle-school instruction emphasizing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Michelle Simons, a media instructor at Woodbury Middle School, was awarded $10,000 for 32 Chromebooks for a mobile computer lab.

Anne Maxwell, a math teacher at Lake Middle School, received $10,000 for 20 iPads and a charging station for seventh-grade math.

Cory Oberdas, a STEM teacher at Woodbury Middle School, was awarded $3,998 for two 3-D printers.

Logan Carstensen, a science teacher at Lake Middle School, received $2,500 for a 3-D printer and filament for physical/earth science instruction. Carstensen also was awarded $8,000 in 2013 for lab equipment.

Katie Bartholomew, a science teacher at Lake Middle School, received $2,411 for eight new hot plates.

Finally, Brian Eberhardt, a science teacher at Lake Middle School, was awarded $2,200 for curriculum materials related to genetics.

The St. Croix Valley Foundation offers music-education grants through a special fund created by an anonymous donor. Funding is available to schools in Washington and Chisago counties in Minnesota, and St. Croix, Pierce and Polk counties in Wisconsin.

Diane Bezdicek, a reading teacher at Pine Hill Elementary, received a $5,000 grant for a two-week songwriting residence with Jeff Dayton, a guitarist, singer and studio musician from Nashville, Tenn., and Brent Comeau, the band director at East Ridge High, was awarded a $3,000 grant for a new jazz drums set.

Elsewhere in the district, Kathy Dornfeld, a counselor at Woodbury High, received a $2,465 Mark A. Pursley grant to continue depression screening and provide follow-up support; Kristin Bellus-Penz, a teacher and technology integrationist at Pullman Elementary, was awarded a $2,000 3M Cottage Grove grant for STEM programming and the district's Angel Fund; and Mike Simurdiak, a science teacher at Park High, received a $1,000 Baxter grant to support the school's robotics team.


District launches search for new leader

The search is underway for a new superintendent of the Stillwater Area Public Schools.

In December, the school board approved the search process, which includes efforts to recruit candidates through January, select finalists in February and then hire a new district leader in early March.

The new superintendent would replace interim leader Tom Nelson, whose one-year contract expires on June 30, 2015. Nelson, who also served as interim superintendent in 2010-11, replaced Corey Lunn, who left after three years to become schools chief of the Johnston Community School District in Iowa.

The district has invited community members to offer input on what they would like to see in a new district leader. A three-question survey is available online at: www.surveymonkey.com/s/PonySupt.

The North St. Paul-Maplewood-Oakdale School District also is in the market for a new superintendent. Patty Phillips, now in her 10th year as district leader, is stepping down at the end of June.

Anthony Lonetree