2023 Innovation & Leadership Grants Reception

February 2, 2023 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

“Our Catholic Schools are experiencing a renaissance – as evident by our increase in enrollment,” reflected Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano in his message to the Catholic school educators awarded 2023 grants in innovation and leadership.

The Diocese of Bridgeport Bishop sent his regrets for not being able to attend the awards ceremony in person this year and asked Holly Doherty-Lemoine, Foundations in Education Executive Director, to share his remarks with the awardees:

“Please let them know that much of that renaissance has been seeded by this Innovation and Leadership Grant program and most especially by them. It is teachers like you that inspire students’ learning and I am deeply grateful to all of you for participating in this program and implementing these great projects.”

The awards reception, hosted by Foundations in Education, was held at Sacred Heart University’s Discovery Science Center and Planetarium on Thursday, February 2.

Foundations in Education is pleased to announce more than $120,000 in grants awarded to educators in the Catholic schools in the Diocese of Bridgeport for twenty-one projects, with award amounts ranging from $817 to $15,000. In its 6th year, this competitive program was the first of its kind in the Diocese of Bridgeport, to offer innovation and leadership grants to teachers and administrators.

The grant program promotes excellence in Catholic education by supporting teachers’ creative projects, innovation and professional development. Grants funded through this program are intended for transformative initiatives that benefit multiple grade levels and have a long-term impact on student learning.

Eileen D’Andrea was awarded grant funds to purchase a STEM Pilot for All Saints Catholic School in Norwalk. The program will teach the principles of flight leveraging STEM concepts such as geometry, algebra, trigonometry, physics, meteorology, geography and topography; while students learn to fly on a flight simulator. Students will complete a ground school course taught by a licensed pilot and log 10-12 hours in the simulators to earn a certificate of completion.

“We encourage teachers to dare to dream to create an innovative opportunity for their students,” explained Foundations’ Executive Director, Holly Doherty-Lemoine, CFRE.

Educators submitted grant proposals from September 15 – October 31, 2022.

A grants committee carefully reviewed each proposal and submitted recommendations to Foundations’ Board of Trustees for approval. Dr. Julie McNamara, President Emerita of Albertus Magnus College and a Foundations Board member, leads the committee. Dr. McNamara is joined by Sr. Mary Grace Walsh, George Coleman, Fraser Randolph, Henry Rondon, Paula Summa, Executive Director Holly Doherty-Lemoine and ex-officio members, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steven Cheeseman and Director of Innovation and Instructional Improvement Alan Barnicle.

The awards ceremony celebrated in Bridgeport gave grant honorees the opportunity to share their creative vision with Foundations’ Board of Trustees, Grant Committee members and Donors assembled for the occasion.

Milestone C, a Connecticut-based education company whose mission is to shape future STEM leaders, sponsored the event.

Two former awardees featured exhibits of their 2022-2023 grants they are currently implementing at the event. This year, St. Rose of Lima in Newtown displayed their grant, Exploring Scientific Wonders in Kindergarten, and Kolbe Cathedral High School in Bridgeport displayed their grant, Computer-Aided Design (CAD): Empowering the Future of Stem.

Thanks to the generosity of donors, Foundations in Education continues its ongoing commitment to strengthening and transforming Catholic education.

“Our donors make this program possible and we are grateful to all who value innovation and leadership in the classroom,” shared Holly Doherty-Lemoine. “Thanks to their generous support, we are able to help strengthen and transform Catholic education through these grants.”

Foundations in Education is an independent non-profit initiative created to assist the Diocese of Bridgeport’s ongoing mission to support Catholic education in Fairfield County by supporting innovation in academic and extra-curricular programs, fostering opportunities for the professional development of school leaders and providing scholarship assistance to families in need.

Click here for photos from the event.