Stewart Creek ES music teacher earns grant to enhance classroom instruction

Dr. Russell Ballenger joined Montgomery ISD in the 2020-2021 school year as the music teacher at Stewart Creek ES. His desire to teach ukulele to his students had him borrowing a class set from Madeley Ranch ES, who were gracious enough to share. The Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Elementary Music Instructional Support Program offered a grant opportunity to support Texas music teachers and he took the chance to apply, earning $800 worth of ukuleles for Stewart Creek ES.

The new instruments arrived just before the Thanksgiving holiday and Dr. Ballenger has begun introducing them to his upper elementary students.

“With Stewart Creek-owned ukuleles, students will begin their ukulele study in third grade and continue into fourth and fifth,” Ballenger said.

Watching him present a new instrument to Mrs. Hope’s fourth grade class, it was clear that the students are excited to learn the ukulele. Jaycie Horton shared that she loves playing music and this is going to make music class even more fun!

“I’m excited because it looks like a little guitar,” fourth grader Donovan Hebert said.

Dr. Ballenger doesn’t just plan to introduce the new instruments in classroom instruction, but he looks forward to letting students perform with them in both grade level and Trailblazer choir performances. Congratulations Dr. Ballenger and thank you to TMEA Elementary Music Instructional Support Program for your gift to our Stewart Creek Trailblazers!

Campus “Hustle Projects” continue to be completed with support of local businesses

Montgomery ISD continues to be so very thankful for the commitment our local business partners have to supporting the students and staff in our district!

In April 2021, the Montgomery ISD Education Foundation hosted the first Together We Grow Community Fundraiser and presented each campus with the opportunity to win a campus grant to pay for a “hustle project” of the principal’s choice. A fun competition took place between the campuses selling hustle tickets to their campus families and community members in order to have their campus’ hustle project funded.

Oak Hills JH and Lone Star ES were the two grant winners at the event, earning grants from the Montgomery ISD Education Foundation to fund an outdoor learning space (OHJH) and a book vending machine (LSE). After attending the event and seeing each campus’ wish, local Montgomery businesses began to work with the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce to help fund the wishes of other campuses. Six of the eight other hustle projects have been completed or funded by local area businesses.

A delivery of gravel to the garden at Stewart Creek ES happened over the summer, thanks to a generous donation of labor and supply from Hauser Land Services.

In August, Keenan ES and Montgomery ES both received donations for their hustle project wish. Woodmen Life Insurance donated beautiful benches for the garden at Keenan ES and Coco Phillips and Pat Prein with Coffee News gave a financial donation for a book vending machine at Montgomery ES.

This month two more campus hustle projects were completed at both Lake Creek HS and Lincoln ES. Dan and Debby Dykes of Network in Action donated a sonic-style ice machine to the faculty and staff of Lake Creek HS and Dr. Mariana Coconu of Lakeside Dental Practice donated money for the purchase of water bottle refilling stations around campus at Lincoln ES.

Montgomery JH has received a donation from Pam Westlake Realty to provide new computers for the students use and that photo will be shared when the computers arrive on campus.

Montgomery ISD wants to thank the Montgomery ISD Education Foundation for the start of the hustle project idea, as well as the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce for connecting our business partners with our schools and helping to get these gifts for our students and staff. Montgomery ISD is on #onepathtogether with our community partners!