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Masonic Foundation provides grants for county schools

by AMY QUINLIVAN
Mineral Independent | February 3, 2021 12:00 AM

On Jan. 28, the Montana Masonic Foundation’s Educational Grant Program presented awards to both Superior School District and St. Regis School District. The program provides teachers, or school administration in Montana’s public schools an opportunity to apply for grants to assist under-funded educational fields in the areas of music, drama, science and library.

Superior Science Teacher Christopher Quinlivan received a grant of $5,400 to help renovate his science lab and install a new hood vent for experiments. Since beginning his teaching career in 2012 at Superior High School, the outdated and ineffective laboratory in his classroom has caused frustrations.

Quinlivan noted, “It’s been difficult not being able to do certain labs that I’d like to, or dissections without worrying about stinking up one whole wing of the school.”

He expressed his gratitude to the Masonic Foundation presenters, Kelly Dillon, Ed Heppe, and Bill Merriman, “I look forward to being able to use these funds to get my students doing more hands-on learning and have the chance to fully use the lab from now on.”

Superintendent Scott Kinney helped apply for the grant to provide upgrades to the science lab. This is the second time that Superior School District has been awarded a grant through the Montana Masonic Foundation.

Bill Merriman, Master of the Superior Masonic Mountain Lodge #110 presented the check to Mr. Quinlivan. During the presentation Masonic Lodge Secretary, Kelly Dillon stated, “This year we are giving out $100,000 to various Montana schools, and between the grants for Superior and St. Regis schools, Mineral County is getting 10 percent of those awards. I think that’s pretty great.”

Later on, that day Dillon reiterated these same accomplishments to the Administration, board members, and music teacher Derek Larson at St. Regis School for their grant for a new tuba. Dillon said, “I think it says a lot about the administration and the staff at both schools to have received these grants, so keep up the good work!”

Larson has spent the last several years fundraising for various instruments for his music department but always put off the purchase of a new tuba because of the hefty price tag. St. Regis School was awarded a $4,000 grant from Masonic Foundation, the new tuba is expected to arrive at the school within the next two weeks. Music student Demor Hostetler was present during the awarding of the grant and he will be the first band member with the opportunity to play it.

Schools that received grants from the Montana Masonic Foundation’s Educational Grant Program are eligible to reapply each year, and Dillon stated, “I recommend all the schools in Mineral County to take advantage of these funds, I can’t think of a better place to put our money to good use.”