BEEBE When Gail Vaden arrived at the Beebe Schools Auditorium on Monday morning for the annual Welcome Back to School meeting for faculty and staff, little did she know she would be called down to the front for recognition.
Vaden, 61, was recognized as the Arkansas recipient of a 2017 Helen Pouch Memorial Fund Classroom Grant from the National Junior Membership Committee of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. One $500 grant was awarded to a classroom teacher in each state.
“I was surprised,” said Vaden, who teaches fifth-grade social studies and literacy at Beebe Middle School. “I had thought about it a few times, but I know when you apply for grants, you just have to wait and see.”
Jayne Spears of Beebe, Beebe School District receptionist and honorary regent of the Major Jacob Gray DAR chapter in Jacksonville, had made an announcement to teachers in the Beebe School District in March about the availability of the national grant. The Major Jacob Gray DAR chapter sponsored Vaden’s application.
“Gail Vaden is an amazing teacher,” Spears said. “She had just been named Beebe Schools Educator of the Year by the Beebe Chamber of Commerce when I sent out the word about the grant program. It was so difficult not to tell her about her winning the $500. It was so special to make the announcement in front of her co-workers.”
Jerrie Townsend of Stuttgart, Arkansas DAR state regent, was among DAR representatives gathered to present Vaden with the award.
“We are so proud of Gail Vaden and the proposal she submitted,” Townsend said. “The Helen Pouch Memorial Fund Classroom Grant Award program honors teachers and their hard work in the classroom furthering the education of our students.”
Townsend said grant applicants must be teachers in kindergarten through the 12th grade and be sponsored by a local DAR chapter.
Townsend said proposed projects for the grant must…