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Honoring Mississippi teachers for classroom innovation and excellence

Shane Loper
May 2, 2017
Hancock Bank and the Gulf Coast Community Foundation recently recognized ten outstanding South Mississippi educators for creative excellence as winners of the Leo W. Seal Innovative Teacher Grants.
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Excellence and innovation in classroom education
Funded by Hancock Bank, the Leo W. Seal Innovative Teacher Grants recognize outstanding educators with grants that help pay for creative and innovative projects that complement curriculums and bring subjects to life for their students. This is the 21st year that the bank, in partnership with the Gulf Coast Community Foundation (GCCF), has honored teachers with Seal awards. Each winner received a grant of up to $2000 and a crystal award recognizing their achievement.
2017 Leo W. Seal Innovative Teacher Grant winners
Exceptional teachers earning Leo W. Seal Innovative Teacher Grants are: Front row left to right: Britany Oliphant,
Oak Park Elementary School, Ocean Springs; Letha Boudreaux, Saint Stanislaus College, Bay St. Louis;
Victoria Williams, Saint Patrick High School, Biloxi; Dawn Coleman, Ocean Springs Upper Elementary School, Ocean Springs; Ashley Chenault, Ocean Springs Upper Elementary School, Ocean Springs; Sharon Thompson, Trent Lott Academy, Pascagoula. Back row left to right: Jeff Anderson, Saint Stanislaus College, Bay St. Louis; Virginia McLaughlin, St. Martin Middle School, Ocean Springs; Melissa Harris, Pass Christian High School, Pass Christian;
Patrick Wadsworth, Gulfport High School, Gulfport. 
Honoring a legacy of leadership
Established in 1994 and funded by Hancock Bank, the Leo W. Seal grants recognize and encourage educational excellence by underwriting original classroom teaching initiatives developed by teachers. The awards also commemorate the leadership of Leo W. Seal Sr., Hancock Bank president from 1932 until his death in 1963, and his son, the late Leo W. Seal Jr., Hancock’s chief executive for 45 years, in facilitating countless economic and educational opportunities for the region. The Gulf Coast Community Foundation manages the endowment as a permanent fund of the GCCF’s Pat Santucci Friends of Public Education program and coordinates the selection of winners. 
Certified K-12 teachers in the seven Mississippi counties in which Hancock Bank has branches - Forrest, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Lamar, and Pearl River - are eligible to apply for the Seal grants each year. 
It's our privilege to continue to honor the legacy of the Seal family in recognizing and rewarding the exceptional educators we have throughout Mississippi. Hancock Bank is committed to education and supports teachers who work tirelessly to develop innovative teaching solutions, demonstrate strong leadership and are passionate about the role they play in developing tomorrow’s leaders.

Meet the 2017 honorees and learn more about their winning projects. 
Information about the 2018 Seal grant awards application process will be available at Hancock Bank branches in South Mississippi and on GCCF’s website in mid-fall 2017.