Farmers Insurance Announces Winners of Thank America's Teachers Dream Big Teacher Challenge
Six Teachers from Across the Country Each Receive A $100,000 Grant

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif., Dec. 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- In September and October of 2015, Farmers Insurance® set the stage for a national competition for 15 teacher finalists in three zones across the country (Western, Central, and Eastern) to compete for six $100,000 educational grants to help bring their dream proposals to enhance educational opportunities in the their community to life. Today, Farmers Insurance, through its Thank America's Teachers℠ program, announced the six winners of the Dream Big Teacher Challenge.

"It's been incredible to see the communities and the entire country support these incredibly dedicated and hardworking teachers that had the vision and dreams to take their schools and classrooms to the next level," said Kelly LaMar, Managing Lead of Thank America's Teachers for Farmers Insurance. "Today, we are thrilled to be able to make the dreams a reality for these six deserving educators. Their stories truly inspired us and the public who voted for their proposals, and we know that the grants will help promote endless opportunities for current and future students."

Each of the six winners competed for votes from the American public to be crowned winners of the Dream Big Teacher Challenge throughout the month of October. The winners will use the $100,000 to help transform their schools and communities, and provide opportunities for students to succeed. The winning teachers are:

Western Zone Winners


Paula Brockman of Lowell Scott Middle School in Boise, Idaho

Proposal Summary

Thinking Outside The Classroom Box

Research has shown that outdoor experiences can help stimulate learning and make real-life connections for students. Brockman will use the $100,000 Dream Big Teacher Challenge grant to build an outdoor learning center that includes interpretive learning stations sparking each student's creativity and curiosity. The outdoor learning center will feature a greenhouse and extended garden area, a fish farm station, a circular seating area for group lessons both covered and uncovered, and other creative spaces.

Local Farmers Agent Sponsor

Fred Kesler



Katherine Tacea of Lafayette Elementary School in Long Beach, California

Proposal Summary

Equity and Access for All: Closing the Technology Achievement Gap for Children and Families in Poverty

One-hundred percent of the students at Lafayette Elementary School come from poverty stricken homes and many of them do not have access to computers or other forms of technology. Tacea will use the $100,000 Dream Big Teacher Challenge grant to buy computers and iPads to help reinforce Common Core State Standards to help students develop critical thinking skills in their pursuit to become lifelong digital learners.

Local Farmers District Manager Sponsor

David Gamble


Central Zone Winners


Lisa Fox of St. Joseph Grade School in Shawnee, Kansas

Proposal Summary

C.O.D.I.N.G. – Collaborative Opportunities for Differentiated Inquiry to Navigate the Globe

The growth in the field of technology and the demand for skilled workers has become a consistent issue in most schools today. For this reason, Fox will use the $100,000 Dream Big Teacher Challenge grant to purchase computers to integrate coding into St. Joseph's curriculum, helping reduce barriers to technology for its students and teachers.

Local Farmers District Manager Sponsor

Steve Davila



Christopher Green of W.H. Adamson High School in Dallas, Texas

Proposal Summary

Adamson High School Band Equipment

Nearly 100 percent of the students at W.H. Adamson High School come from poverty stricken homes and do not have access to musical instruments. Having grown from a band with 12 members to one with over 200 students in 5 years, there are not enough instruments to match the students wanting to be a part of the band. Green will use the $100,000 Dream Big Teacher Challenge grant to purchase band equipment so that every student has an instrument to perform with.

Local Farmers Agent Sponsor

Sam Schlehuber


Eastern Zone Winners


Emily Max of Fred Armon Toomer Elementary School in Atlanta, Georgia

Proposal Summary

Toomer's Inclusive Playground Project

At Fred Armon Toomer Elementary, more than 70 percent of the student population receives free or reduced cost lunch and the school does not have adequate funds to provide the desired resources to many special needs students. Max will use the $100,000 Dream Big Teacher Challenge grant to build an inclusive playground that is accessible for the school's special needs students. The play space will include low structures with ramps, low monkey bars, and balance building stations.

Local Farmers Agent Sponsor

Anissa Few Davenport



Vic Worthington of Rochelle Middle School in Rochelle, Illinois

Proposal Summary

Full STEAM Ahead

In April 2015, Rochelle was hit by a devastating EF4 tornado destroying many homes and farms in the area including the homes of several staff members from Rochelle Middle School. This district also continues to face reductions in State aid. Worthington will use the $100,000 Dream Big Teacher Challenge grant to develop a cutting edge STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) program for students that ties classroom learning to technology and mentorship from local business and agricultural leaders.

Local Farmers Agent Sponsor

Mark Gillis


Launched at the 2015 Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego, California, the Thank America's Teachers program enables Americans everywhere to say thank you to teachers who made an impact on their lives. In addition to awarding 180 grants valued at $2,500 throughout the year to recognize the great work that teachers do every day, Farmers Insurance took the program one step further by developing the Dream Big Teacher Challenge, offering teachers a chance to compete for six $100,000 educational grants. In total, Farmers will award teachers across the country more than $1 million in educational grants in 2015.

"At Farmers, we encourage teachers from around the country to continue to dream big and start thinking about proposal ideas for next year's $2,500 and $100,000 grant opportunities, which will be open for submission as early as January," said LaMar.

The public can visit at any time to share their thanks for teachers who made a difference in their lives, and to learn more about the program.

About Farmers Insurance

"Farmers Insurance®" and "Farmers®" are tradenames for a group of affiliated insurers providing insurance for automobiles, homes and small businesses and a wide range of other insurance and financial services and products. Farmers Insurance is proud to serve more than 10 million households with over 19 million individual policies, across all 50 states, through the efforts of more than 48,000 exclusive and independent agents and approximately 21,000 employees. Farmers Insurance Exchange, the largest of the three primary insurance insurers that make up Farmers Insurance, is recognized as one of the largest U.S. companies on the 2015 Fortune 500 list.

For more information about Farmers Insurance, visit, Twitter and Instagram, @WeAreFarmers, or


Trevor Chapman




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SOURCE Farmers Insurance



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