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Schuylkill Haven Teacher Up for Large Grant

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SCHUYLKILL HAVEN -- A teacher from Schuylkill County is in the running for a prize worth thousands of dollars that will go toward bettering how she teaches her students.

Schuylkill Haven Middle School social studies teacher Jacyln Hink loves getting creative with her lesson plans. Last school year, she wanted to teach her students about the death of Julius Caesar so she staged a crime scene.

"I pulled a body out, we had a dummy that I dressed up like Julius Caesar using bulletin board paper, cut out some props and put it around the room so the students had to come in and make some observations and inferences based off what they've seen," Hink said.

Her creativity is now getting recognition.

She applied for a grant worth $2,000 through Voya Financial so she could buy more supplies for the lesson and won.

"We knew it was possibly an outside chance but with what she was proposing and what she does in the classroom, we knew it was also a good chance of getting it," said Schuylkill Haven Middle School Principal Matt Beuletza.

Thanks to her unique teaching style, Hink is now one of three teachers in the state to get this grant. She will now go on to be considered for the national prize.

If she wins one of the top three national prizes through Voya Financial, she could win another prize of either $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000.

Hink's students say she deserves to win.

"I'm already in love with history so if I'm with her, she's going to make it more fun and I'm going to have a good time," said student Kyleigh Book.

Hink says winning the grand prize would make her students' experience in the classroom so much better.

"This money can really transform a classroom," Hink said. "(I can) buy more resources, technology, things like that. I can just take a run with it and make it the best project ever."

Hink will find out if she wins the national prize at the end of October.