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Hancock Whitney, GCCF Announce 2022 Leo Seal Grants Recipients

GULFPORT, Miss. (August 26, 2022)—Nine of Mississippi’s most outstanding teachers earned high marks and money today as the 2022 winners of Leo W. Seal Innovative Teacher Grants.

Funded by Hancock Whitney and administered by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation (GCCF), the Seal grants recognize exceptional commitment to teaching and fund creative learning projects that enhance students’ educational experiences and support state curriculum at K-12 schools in the eight Mississippi counties Hancock Whitney serves—Forrest, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Lamar, Madison, and Pearl River.

This year’s recipients of one-time Seal grants of up to $2,000 to activate award-winning projects are Sarah Jane Badeaux at Pass Christian Middle School; Traci Barrientos at the Lighthouse Academy for Dyslexia in Ocean Springs; Karen Jean Boutwell at Pearl River Central Middle School in Carriere; Renee M. Dellenger at St. Patrick Catholic High School in Biloxi; Banita Ford at St. Martin High School in Ocean Springs; Sarah Virginia Israel at Arlington Elementary School in Pascagoula; Tammy G. McKenna at Pass Christian High School; Jordan Roy at St. Stanislaus College in Bay St. Louis; and Erica Yong van Norden at Delisle Elementary School in Pass Christian.

“We at Hancock Whitney are extremely proud of and congratulate the 2022 Leo W. Seal Innovative Teacher Grants recipients,” said Hancock Whitney Chief Operating Officer D. Shane Loper. “Our founders envisioned an institution meant to serve. They saw a strong bank with a tradition of creating opportunities. They set forth a mission to help people achieve their dreams. From the day we opened our doors, Hancock Whitney has carried on that mission and advocated quality education as a means of achieving dreams. That’s why we’ve always considered the Leo Seal Innovative Teacher Grants program a natural extension of our mission.”

Each Seal grant recipient receives up to $2,000 to activate their award-winning teaching initiative at their school. The grant recipients share insights about their commitment to teaching at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vLCOE67k0k.

More about the Seal Grants

Hancock Whitney established the Leo W. Seal Innovative Teacher Grants in 1994 as a permanent endowment of the Gulf Coast Community Foundation Pat Santucci Friends of Public Education Program. GCCF and Hancock Whitney awarded the first grants in 1996. GCCF manages the grants and selection of winners by an independent committee not affiliated with Hancock Whitney.

Additionally, the program pays tribute to the legacies of the late Leo W. Seal, Sr., Hancock Whitney’s president from 1932 to 1963, and his son, the late Leo W. Seal, Jr., the company’s chief executive for 45 years. During their lives, both men championed countless educational and economic growth opportunities across the Gulf Coast.

Hancock Whitney and GCCF will announce availability of online applications for 2023 grants later this year.