Innovation Grants Laud Top Mississippi Teachers for Excellence, Originality

Keith Williams, April 18, 2016

Hancock Bank and the Gulf Coast Community Foundation recently recognized 12 of Mississippi's top teachers with the Leo W. Seal Innovative Teacher Grants for commitment and creativity in teaching. 




Twenty Years of Recognizing Excellence in Education

Funded by Hancock Bank, the Leo W. Seal Innovative Teacher Grants recognize outstanding educators and help pay for projects that complement classroom teaching, support state curriculum, and bring school subjects to life. This is the 20th year the bank, in partnership with the Gulf Coast Community Foundation (GCCF), has honored teachers with Seal awards. Each winner earned up to a $2000 grant, depending on their project budget, and a crystal award recognizing their achievement.



Exceptional teachers earning Leo W. Seal Innovative Teacher Grants this year are Amy Ashley, Our Lady Academy, Bay St. Louis; Michele Brasher, Trent Lott Academy, Pascagoula; Billy Carroll, Moss Point Career and Technical Education; Terese Evans, St. James Catholic School, Gulfport; Keene Golding, Hancock High School, Kiln; Leigh Hanna, Pascagoula High School; Kim Jordan, College Park Elementary School, Gautier; Daniel Munger, Saint Stanislaus College, Bay St. Louis; Tania Tellier-Brooks, Gulfport High School; Alicia Verweij, Roseland Park Elementary School, Picayune; and, working together on one project, Jane Bunn of Pass Christian Elementary School and Lori Fisher of Pass Christian Middle School.

A Legacy of Leadership

Hancock Bank established the Leo W. Seal Innovative Teacher Grant program in 1994 as a permanent endowment of the GCCF Pat Santucci Friends of Public Education program—with the first awards presented in 1996—to pay tribute to the leadership and achievements 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. Both men helped create countless economic and educational opportunities across the Gulf Coast.

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.

Meet the 2016 honorees and learn more about their winning projects.