2017 Instructional Mini Grant Award Winners

Mini-Grant Award Winner

Ellen Kolonaski from the Kittatinny Regional High School, Kaleidoscope Program.

Ellen's proposal was entitled Learning can be “Sew Inventive!”  With art and algorithms, this unit combines textiles, computer science and electronics to explore business, design and engineering.  The culminating project integrates the knowledge of circuitry, aesthetic appeal and market viability to design a usable soft circuits prototype.   (Grade 8)

Ellen Kolonoski, an educator for 23 years at Kittatinny Regional High School, began her career teaching social studies, specializing in geography, and is now a teacher of gifted and talented students.  She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Alfred University, a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Scranton and completed a graduate certificate in Gifted Education at Rutgers University.  She was the Kittatinny Regional High School Teacher of the Year in 2006-2007, went on to be named as Sussex County Teacher of the Year and was a finalist for New Jersey State Teacher of the Year.

Mini-Grant Award Winner

Erica Azar from Avenel Middle School in the Woodbridge Township School District.

Erica's proposal was entitled "Let's Build Them Up! Teaching Engineering, Architecture, and Construction in a Differentiated and Dynamic Way"(Grades 4 and 5).

Our diverse and proficient gifted and talented students are in need of “outside the box” engineering, architecture and construction resources for our ever-changing, technologically driven and interest based curricula.  This grant will enable us to provide a variety of these resources.

This is Erica Azar's ninth year teaching in the Woodbridge Township Public School District and sixth year as a Gifted and Talented teacher, where she teaches 4th and 5th grade enrichment and accelerated math. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2008 with a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction and studied under Joseph Renzulli, Sally Reis, Del Siegle and E. Jean Gubbins.  A lover of math, the beach, amusement parks and learning new things, you can find Erica going on adventures with her husband and new baby son or relaxing at home cooking new meals