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2024 Leo Seal Grants: Helping Teachers Teach, Young People Grow

February 5, 2024
Paul Maxwell
Paul Maxwell

At Hancock Whitney, five timeless ideals have stayed central to who we are, how we do business, and how we serve since we opened our doors in 1899, core values of Honor & Integrity, Strength & Stability, Commitment to Service, Teamwork, and Personal Responsibility.

When you think about it, that’s what teachers teach.

image-png-Feb-05-2024-06-41-03-4382-PMYes, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), along with the arts (STEAM), curriculums are essential to a strong academic education. Instilling in students a solid sense of responsibility, accountability, and citizenship — guiding them how to do good and do right — is, however, a foundation for a solid life education.

Recently, Hancock Whitney, in partnership with the Gulf Coast Community Foundation (GCCF), had the privilege to honor and celebrate 12 recipients of the 2024 Leo W. Seal Innovative Teacher Grants. The grants recognize educational excellence and underwrite original teaching projects designed to enrich students’ classroom learning and support state requirements.  

Read more about the 2024 winning projects and see and hear this year’s Seal grant recipients as they talk about what teaching means to them.


Creating Opportunities

So many dedicated teachers in so many places make so many differences for so many students. In an ever-changing world, the Seal grant winners are among exceptional educators who’ve mastered how to adapt and enhance in-class lessons that help young people learn and grow, readying them to build lives as successful, contributing adults.

Funded by Hancock Whitney, the Seal grants have encouraged and rewarded outstanding, creative K-12 teachers for 28 years in the Mississippi counties in which Hancock Whitney has locations, currently Forrest, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Lamar, Madison, and Pearl River.

The grants also pay tribute to South Mississippi natives Leo W. Seal, Sr. — our president from 1932 until his death in 1963 — and his son, the late Leo W. Seal, Jr., chief executive for 45 years, both tireless champions for education and economic opportunity across the Gulf Coast region.

The GCCF online application portal for 2025 Seal grants opens mid-summer 2024, with grants presented in early 2025.

Teaching to Succeed

Our clients, communities, and associates are collectively the heart and soul of our organization, and we work hard to be part of the heart and soul of hometowns we serve. In October, we’ll celebrate 125 years of working together to grow the Gulf South.

We’ve come a long way since the turn of the 20th century, growing and changing to be better; but our core values remain constant.

We salute and thank the 2024 Seal grant recipients and all educators for empowering young people with the knowledge to help achieve their dreams and an appreciation of core values to help them become informed, insightful, responsible, compassionate citizens.