Three EHT teachers awarded ‘Unsung Heroes’ grant for innovation

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EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP - The team of teachers who created and run the township's "Saturday Morning Science Show" were honored as one of only 100 others across the nation to win an innovative educator grant.

Linda Szypula of Fernwood Avenue Middle School, Kelli Wenzel, of Alder Avenue Middle School, and K. Lynn Myers, of E.H. Slaybaugh Elementary School, won a $2,000 ING Unsung Heroes grant to help fund the show, during which middle school students teach science to elementary school students. High school students work behind the scenes filming the show.

The ING Unsung Heroes program strives to uplift, inspire and honor educators who are making a significant impact on their students and the educational experience in the classroom. Winning programs over the years have exemplified teachers who utilize innovative and engaging teaching methods and techniques to improve learning for America’s students. Because many educators are often under-appreciated, under-paid, and unrecognized, ING U.S. continues to salute them through its ING Unsung Heroes program, now in its 16th year.

By receiving the ING Unsung Heroes award, Szypula, Wenzel and Myers are recognized as some of the nation’s most innovative educators.They will now compete with other winners for one of the top three prizes — an additional $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000.

The “Saturday Morning Science Show”  involves demonstrating science concepts through exciting, interactive experiments. With assistance from teachers, students will be actively involved in all facets of producing the “Saturday Morning Science Show,” including mastering science concepts, performing experiments, directing, filming and script writing. The ultimate objective of the “Saturday Morning Science Show” is to enhance students’ knowledge of science through interactive experiments, as well as increase interest in and enthusiasm for the field of science. The show, newsletter and website will serve as turn-key professional development for teachers. Each episode can be shown in the classroom. The episodes will include an introduction of important science terminology and concepts, and easy-to-replicate activities that can be performed in the class room and at home. The goal of the show is to have students teaching students about science, in a way that will help them see the connection it has to their daily lives.

“ING is proud of the hard work and dedication of all of our nation’s teachers,” said Maliz Beams, CEO of ING U.S. Retirement Services. “It is a privilege to invest in the innovative ideas of educators across the United States who are preparing our children for the future. We hope the additional funds Dr. Linda Szypula, Kelli Wenzel and K. Lynn Myers are awarded through ING Unsung Heroes will help sustain their program and continue to make an impact on the children in their community.”

ING U.S., a leading provider of retirement plans and programs for teachers, began the ING Unsung Heroes program in 1996 to demonstrate the company’s commitment to the education community. Over the years, the program has awarded nearly $4 million to 1,700 Kindergarten through 12th-grade educators for their innovative teaching methods, creative educational projects, and ability to positively influence the children they teach.

The 2012 ING Unsung Heroes winners were selected from a group of more than 1,300 applications. To learn more about this year’s winning projects, as well as those from previous years, visit the INGUnsung Heroes website ( More information about the program can also be found on the ING Unsung Heroes Facebook page ( where people canlike and share the page to encourage more educators to apply. Applications for the 2013 ING Unsung Heroes awards are available on the website.

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