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Local Alhambra Teacher Wins $2,500 Grant through Farmers Insurance's Thank a Million Teachers Program

Farmers Insurance Names First 30 Winners of $2,500 Grants as Part of National Thank A Million Teachers Program

America Cast More Than 650,000 Votes for Teacher Proposals Submitted from Across the Nation


Farmers Insurance, one of the nation’s largest multiline insurers, announced the first 30 winners of its “Thank A Million Teachers” program, a national initiative through which Farmers is inviting America to offer a heartfelt thanks to teachers, present and past, for the positive impact they have had in communities across the nation.  To date, more than 350,000 thank yous have been tallied on the www.ThankAMillionTeachers.com website. As part of the national program, Farmers invited teachers to submit proposals for $2,500 grants. During March, the public voted on nearly 1,300 submitted proposals with the top six vote-getters in five regions selected as winners. In all, Farmers has committed to donating $1 million to teachers and education programs in 2014.

“These winning teachers are outstanding examples of the type of creativity and dedication found in classrooms across America and we congratulate our first group of winners,” said Randy Rice, National Manager of Education Programs for Farmers Insurance.  “We know these grants will have a major impact in schools throughout the country and we want to remind teachers that they can continue to submit proposals through the end of October as we will have additional opportunities for them to win grants.”

Among the grant winners:

·       Stephanie Cohen of Granada Elementary School in Alhambra, Calif., whose students include a number of deaf and learning disabled students.  She will use her grant to host performing arts workshops on disability awareness and promote storytelling, visual imagery and utilize American Sign Language to develop skits and other creative learning opportunities for her students;

·       Moore, Okla., teacher Dee Ann Moran with a classroom full of old and wobbly desks and chairs at Winding Creek Elementary School needs new furniture.  Due to tight budgets and last year’s devastating tornado, funds to replace the cracked furniture have not been available.  She plans to use her grant to provide her students with furniture that will enable them to focus on learning, not on pinching and uncomfortable desks and chairs;

·       Fiske Elementary School teacher Katie Friedl in Chicago, Ill., dreams of providing her students with as many hands-on science experiments as she can get her hands on.  While they are currently studying frogs, she plans to expand learning about the life cycle of living things by acquiring a chicken incubation system and other science equipment to enable more interactive learning among her students;

·       Samantha Majors, who teaches at Van Buren Elementary School in Van Buren, Mo., wants to increase access to technology to her rural students.  With her grant, she will purchase additional computers and other technology to help build language and writing skills and introduce new ways of learning through advanced technology;

·       Austin, Tex.-based teacher Veronica Twining at Fulmore Middle School remembers her days as a student and recalls the importance of having a safe and comfortable space to focus on learning.  With her grant she will purchase much needed school supplies and create a study corner that will be an inviting study sanctuary.

Below is the complete list of winners"

Name of Teacher       School                                  City, State

Mark Adams             Ironwood HS                             Glendale, Ariz.

Sandy Andrus           Tyhee Elementary                     Pocatello, Idaho

Cindy Bateman         Plymouth Elementary              Taylorsville, Utah

Elizabeth  Betts         North Harrison R-III School      Bethany, Mo.  

Katie Buffum            San Marcos Middle School         San Marcos, Calif.

Stephanie Cohen      Granada Elementary                 Alhambra, Calif.

Luis Coronel            School of Business & Tourism      Los Angeles, Calif.

Sheryl Depp            Crews Lake Middle School             Spring Hill, Fla.

Wade Dues              Vero Beach HS                  Vero Beach, Fla.

Lindsey Elliott         Thompson Crossing Elementary   Indianapolis, Ind.

Linda Empey           Tyhee Elementary                      Pocatello, Idaho

Rebecca  Freimann    Felix Festa Middle School          West Nyack,


Katie  Friedl     Fiske Elementary                Chicago, Ill.

Shelley  Hardenbrook   Tyhee Elementary     Pocatello, Idaho

Jennifer Hodges       Claremont Elementary     Claremore, Okla.

Melissa Hunt            I.T. Stoddard Elementary     Blackfoot, Idaho

Tammi Kantola        Beechnau Elementary          Ravenna, Mich.

Christie Kranjcec      Dayton Elementary             Dayton, Nev.

Geralyn Lewis         Buford Elementary                Lennox, Calif.

Amanda  Maddox      Newman Elementary           Billings, Mont.

Samantha Majors     Van Buren Elementary         Van Buren, Mo.

Angie Moehlmann      Sappington Elementary       St. Louis, Mo.

Jennifer Moore            Gallatin HS                        Gallatin, Tenn.

Dee Ann Moran       Winding Creek Elementary      Moore, Okla

Chris  Pawlak           Geneva HS                              Geneva, Ill.

Carla Perez               James F. Murray Elementary   Jersey City, N.J.

John Piniat                Potter-Thomas Elementary                  Philadelphia, Pa.

Veronica Twining           Fulmore Middle School            Austin, Texas

Allison Vanek              Suder Montessori                    Chicago, Ill.

Karen  Wietholter        Newberry Academy                 Chicago, Ill.

Farmers Insurance is working in partnership with Adopt-A-Classroom.org, a national non-profit, to help teachers acquire the supplies and equipment they have requested in their proposals.

Farmers announced the launch of the Thank A Million Teachers program in late December at a special event featuring Jack Black, who thanked his former teacher Debbie Devine, who he credited with saving his life.  Several days later, Farmers brought additional attention to its campaign to thank educators across America with its Thank A Million Teachers New Year’s Day float in the Tournament of Roses parade.

The ThankAMillionTeachers.com website is continuously accepting the public’s thank you’s and posts a live tally of the number of thank yous received so far.  It is also the place where teachers can submit their grant proposals for the next round of voting.  Proposals for the next round are being accepted in March and April for public voting in May.

Farmers Insurance Group of Companies is a leading U.S. insurer group of automobiles, homes and small businesses and also provides a wide range of other insurance and financial services products. Farmers Insurance is proud to serve more than 10 million households with more than 20 million individual policies across all 50 states through the efforts of over 50,000 exclusive and independent agents and nearly 24,000 employees.The Farmers Exchanges are three reciprocal insurers (Farmers Insurance Exchange, Fire Insurance Exchange and Truck Insurance Exchange), including their subsidiaries and affiliates, owned by their policyholders. Farmers Group, Inc., along with its subsidiaries, manages the non-claims insurance operations of the Farmers Exchanges. Farmers Group, Inc. is wholly owned by the Zurich Insurance Group. For more information about Farmers, visit its Web site at www.farmers.com or atwww.Facebook.com/FarmersInsurance.


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