Leo W. Seal Innovative Teacher Grants: Supporting student success

Shane Loper, May 21, 2018
In May, we hail excited graduates commencing next-steps in their lives. The speeches inspire, the mortar boards fly, and bright-eyed kids on the cusp of adulthood anticipate the possibilities ahead. It’s also a time to celebrate and thank devoted teachers whose commitment has helped carry these young people to this highpoint.
 
The Hancock Whitney Leo W. Seal Innovative Teacher Grant program salutes remarkable teachers who selflessly commit their todays to ensuring students are ready for their tomorrows. Last month, 12 superior South Mississippi educators won Seal grants for educational excellence and creative learning projects that support in-class and state curriculums.
 
LWS 2018 winners

Creating opportunities through educational excellence

Winners of the 2018 Leo Seal Innovative Teacher Grants were (seated, from left) Melissa Payne, D’Iberville High School; Cagney Weaver, Biloxi Upper Elementary; co-winners Marae Amacker and Megan Foster, Crossroads Elementary School, Gulfport; Emily Cloud, St. Patrick Catholic High School, Biloxi; (standing, from left) Reynolds Bodenhamer, Gulfport High School; Emileigh Ellis, Gulfport High School; Casey Campbell, William Colmer Middle School, Pascagoula; Joshua Andrews, Bay High School, Bay St. Louis; Erika Reynolds, College and Career Technical Institute, Pascagoula; Brittany Pitman, Central Elementary School, Pascagoula; and Katherine Windham, D’Iberville High School.

 
We’re proud to recognize outstanding teachers each year with Seal grants and, at the same time, pay tribute to the legacies of Leo W. Seal Sr.—our president from 1932 until his death in 1963—and his son, the late Leo W. Seal Jr., our chief executive for 45 years. Both men instigated economic and educational growth throughout the region, and their family continues that tradition.
 
Our founders expected us to create opportunities; and we believe education is a key that can open doors to endless opportunities. That’s why we’re honored to partner with schools and educators in every community we serve and to sponsor the Leo Seal grants.
 
To Seal award winners present and past and to their fellow first-rate teachers across the Gulf South, we offer a resounding “A-plus.” Our children are graduating to new opportunities because you bring learning to life and empower them to succeed. Thank you.
 
 
About the Leo Seal Grants
 
Since 1994 Hancock Whitney has funded the Leo W. Seal Innovative Teacher Grants to encourage educational excellence and underwrite original classroom teaching initiatives developed by teachers in the seven Mississippi counties where we have financial centers: Forrest, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Lamar, and Pearl River. The Gulf Coast Community Foundation manages the endowment as a permanent fund of the Pat Santucci Friends of Public Education program and coordinates selection of winners. Grant applications are available each fall at www.mgccf.org.