Hancock Whitney, GCCF Award 2023 Leo Seal Teacher Grants

GULFPORT, Miss. (May 12, 2023) — Earlier today, eight of South Mississippi’s most accomplished, creative teachers earned 2023 Leo W. Seal Innovative Teacher Grants for their commitment to educational excellence and to pay for original teaching projects designed to enrich students’ education with hands-on learning opportunities. 

LWS Grant Winners_GROUP Photo (2023)

Funded by Hancock Whitney and administered by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation (GCCF), the Seal grants recognize exceptional dedication to teaching and fund teaching proposals 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 are Tania Tellier-Brooks, Gulfport High School; Melanie Davis, Pass Road Elementary School (Gulfport); Elvira Gabriela Deyamport, Thames Elementary School (Hattiesburg); Brandy Waltman Kopszywa, d’Iberville High School; Carly H. Parker, Harper McCaughan Elementary School (Long Beach); Melissa Leigh Payne, d’Iberville High School; Matthew Seal, Forrest County Agricultural High School (Brooklyn); and Cherynne Denise Wright, Pass Christian Elementary School.

“At Hancock Whitney, we were founded to help people achieve their goals and dreams. The Leo Seal Innovative Teacher Grants recipients and outstanding educators across the state are helping students build strong academic backgrounds and apply that knowledge to help them make their own dreams come true. We are extremely proud to be part of a partnership that honors and celebrates educational excellence,” said Hancock Whitney President and CEO John M. Hairston.

Each Seal grant recipient receives up to $2,000 to activate their award-winning teaching initiative at their school. The 2023 grant recipients share insights about their commitment to teaching at https://youtu.be/xJmlIwu_9wg

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 2024 grants this summer.