Tuloso-Midway ISD board members, the Superintendent, teachers, and students gathered in the newly renovated auditorium at Tuloso-Midway Middle School on the night of Thursday, Mar. 27, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Tuloso-Midway ISD Education Foundation.

Dr. Sue Nelson, superintendent of TMISD, welcomed the audience and kicked off the journey down memory lane, honoring past and present board members, as several grant recipients gave testimonial and the Education Foundation urged the importance of continued community support.

The Tuloso-Midway Education Foundation was founded on April 8, 2004, and has since raised $407,000 for teachers and students in the district. Each year, the foundation holds fundraisers, including an annual golf tournament and the Ignite the Spirit luncheon, which invites members of Legislature to participate in a panel discussion. Every year, the TMISD Prize Parade donates funds to teachers with innovate and creative ideas in the classroom, as well as a group of Cum Laude graduates.

“It’s given to individual teachers, sometimes to a group of teachers who get together and write a grant for it. A lot of money has gone to new technology; iPads and that kind of thing. We also ask for donations for teacher training,” said superintendent Dr. Sue Nelson. “We had Teach Like a Rockstar, and the Foundation helped pay for half of that training.”

Teach Like a Rockstar was a successful training program used to motivate Tuloso-Midway instructors to use different teaching strategies inside the classroom. One teacher, multiple TMISD Education Foundation grant recipient Nora Martinez has been implanting such strategies from the beginning. Many of her grants have implemented new technology into the classroom, including a clicker-response system, and interactive white boards, among others. This past year, she received a travel grant for $1000, which was named after Theo Wagner, a fellow colleague whom had passed away. With that grant, Martinez took a group of seniors on a trip to Boston, Plymouth and Salem.

“Don’t be afraid and scared to try it. That’s the nice thing about this foundation; they think outside of the box,” said Martinez. “You might think it’s way far out, but they’re looking for innovative and fun grants; things we can do in the classroom that will bring excitement into the classroom.”

Back in 2004, it was TMISD Board President Paul Mostella who brought the idea of creating an educational foundation in Tuloso-Midway to then Superintendent Karen Rue, Ed.D. after attending a workshop. At that workshop, a group was presenting their education foundation and the way they got started. Inspired, Mostella came back and spoke with Dr. Rue. What followed was an uphill battle with bureaucracy, which lasted nearly a year. Finally, everything fell into place, and the Tuloso-Midway Education Foundation was born.

$407,000 later, countless students’ lives have been touched, and the journey for the growth of knowledge continues forth, with no end in sight.

“It’s all because I saw that presentation, got interested, went in there, Dr. Rue said we’re going to do it, and we did,” said Mostella. “Here we are, ten years later.”