County teachers receive grants to travel abroad.
NEWARK -- Katelyn Kochheiser, a special education teacher at Cherry Valley Elementary School, will visit Cambodia for the second time this summer.
The first-year teacher found out Wednesday she received a $2,500 grant to travel to the country and teach during the summer. She is one of three teachers in the county to receive a Tibbie Leslie Travel Grant from the Licking County Foundation this year.
The grants were set up by a former teacher who grew up in Newark -- Elizabeth Randolph "Tibbie" Leslie -- and taught physical education at Withrow High School in Cincinnati for 30 years. She established the Tibbie Leslie Fund through the Licking County Foundation after her death in 1995.
Five teachers applied for the grant this year, Licking County Foundation Director Connie Hawk said. Kochheiser, Newark High School teacher Bet Brown and Watkins Memorial High School teacher Allison Jenison won the grants, which were awarded based solely on an application.
It's "not only how they're going to inspire their students, but how it's going to help them professionally," Hawk said. "(For) many of our teachers, it's the first time they've traveled abroad."
Brown's trip -- which she is taking in March during her spring break -- will take her to Madrid and Barcelona, Spain. It will be her first time overseas.
"My plan is to visit a local high school in Madrid and explore their likes and differences to a school like Newark High," said Brown, a family and consumer sciences teacher.
She also is looking forward to experiencing the culture in Spain, from education to food.
"I want to look at whether they teach any classes like this," Brown said. "They go to the market every day. They don't have big one-stop grocery shops."
Kochheiser will be using her grant to help teach children in Cambodia through the Asian Hope International School. She taught there this past summer between graduating from Miami University and starting at Newark.
"They just take in kids who might not be able to afford school," Kochheiser said.
She also hopes to set up a pen pal system between her Newark and Cambodian students. She teaches special education at Cherry Valley Elementary.
"I thought it'd be really cool to get the kids here involved with them," she said.
Jenison, a 10th grade English and high school developmental reading teacher, will travel to various locations in England. She hopes to make William Shakespeare's plays more relatable to her students, according to a foundation news release.
Each year, Hawk surprises the grant recipients in their classrooms during a school day.
Brown said she thought she might get a letter about the grant and didn't know what to think when her school's principals and Hawk walked into her room Monday.
"When they walked in, I had no idea why they were here," she said. "They really caught me by surprise. I was very touched that they made a big deal about it."
Seth Roy can be reached at (740) 328-8547 or email@example.com.
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