Blount County teacher earns $25,000 to makeover classroom
Classroom creations remain on hold until at least Fall 2020, but one teacher celebrated for the redecorating she can do over the summer.
"I'm a little overwhelmed," said Amy Buchanan, Union Grove Elementary School STEM teacher, "We've worked so hard. And my family and my friends and the kids worked so hard for this. And everybody's been so supportive. We've had so much fun though. It's been awesome."
ORAU awarded Buchanan a $25,000 check to makeover her classroom.
"Amy submitted a compelling video that was the first one selected," said Andy Page, President and CEO of ORAU.
The school principal said Buchanan's creativity is invaluable.
"She took the program. She ran with it. And she's made it completely all her own. And it is an amazing addition to what we do at school. It is the one day of the week that students do not want to miss school," explained Kristy Brewer, Union Grove Elementary School principal.
Buchanan plans to purchase a drone, a 3D printer and solar panels along with many other items on her long list.
"We wanted to just give them the most for the money that we have and the most opportunities to empower them to learn," said Buchanan.
Buchanan competed against 30 other teachers for the prize.
ORAU and the school hope to get the supplies by the fall.