94.5 KBAY - Downtown San Jose
  07:27pm PDT, 10/01/14

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KBAY Teacher of The Month

The September KBAY Teacher of the Month is Duane (Tony) Bennett who received a grant to take his take his science students on a Marine Science Institute SF Bay trip.

Grant lets students experience real science on the Bay
Tony Bennett received a Wells Fargo Teacher Innovation Classroom Grant from the Silicon Valley Education Foundation (SVEF) to take his students on a Marine Science Institute San Francisco Bay voyage.

“I applied for the grant to give students a chance to experience a day out on San Francisco Bay, which is often a highlight of the year for many of them.  Students do real science and have a great time.  Without the grant we would not be able to afford such a trip.”

 “Once the trip is on our schedule, many of our lessons are designed to prepare the students for the voyage.  For example, we measure the salinity of seawater or learn names of some of the animals they are likely to catch on the boat.  They become more motivated than usual because of their anticipation of the upcoming boat trip.  We are also able to use real data collected during the trip in follow-up lessons.”

Oak Grove High School
Oak Grove High School has about 2000 students and is located in San Jose.  Oak Grove is one of the 11 comprehensive high schools in the East Side Union High School District. Bennett teaches chemistry, marine biology, and physics.

The ongoing classroom challenge
“My biggest challenge is teaching students with a wide range of ability levels and motivation levels.  I deal with this by helping students individually during class, during lunch or after school.   I also try to have students help each other.”

About Tony
“I have taught science at Oak Grove High School for 18 years.  I teach chemistry, physics, and marine biology, depending on the school's need.  I studied biology at UCLA for my bachelor’s degree and then earned a master’s in marine science from Moss Landing Marine Laboratories.   My first experience teaching was aboard the boat at the Marine Science Institute where I taught 4th grade through college age students.”

 “I enjoy getting to know students and being a positive role model for them.”

“They become more motivated than usual because of their anticipation of the upcoming boat trip.”


 The Teacher of the Month received $1,000 Grant courtesy of Silicon Valley Education Foundation!

There are hundreds of teaching innovation stories in the Silicon Valley; stories of teachers who keep a solid foundation of learning in their classrooms, then go the extra distance to inspire kids in ways that will take with them into the real world. Check out some of the past recipients of $500 Teacher Innovation Grants:


Fadi Saba August 2012
Fadi Saba

Luther Burbank School District


Maria Tam June 2012
Maria Tam
8th Grade Teacher
Thomas Russell Middle school
Milpitas Unified School District


Susanne Pribyl May 2012
E. Susanne Pribyl
Physics and Chemistry Teacher
Gilroy High School
Gilroy Unified’s new Christopher High School


Ivy Nguyen January 2012
Ivy Nguyen
3rd Grade Teacher
Cherrywood Elementary School
Berryessa Union School District


Rick Carreiro December 2011
Rick Carreiro
11th-12th Grade Teacher
San Jose High School Plus
San Jose Unified School District


Kim Munoz November 2011
Kim Muñoz
Primary Grade Teacher
Blackford Elementary School
Campbell Union High School District

Click here to see more of our past Teachers of the Month!

About Silicon Valley Education Foundation

As a leading non-profit resource and advocate for students, educators and administrators, Silicon Valley Education Foundation is dedicated to elevating scholastic achievement. Since 2006, more than 750 Teacher Innovation Grants have been awarded to local educators to inspire student learning in and outside of classrooms. SVEF’s mission is to make Silicon Valley the leader in academically prepared high school graduates.

How Can I Support Public Education?

Our local community’s vision is a technologically, innovative Silicon Valley where public school investment results in a strong and sustainable economy and a future workforce is created from local talent. Today, nearly 50% of high school graduates in Santa Clara County are not eligible to attend a four-year California university. SVEF is working with schools to reverse this trend by offering critical math and science programs to prepare students for college and career success. Make a difference in the lives of Silicon Valley students by donating to these crucial programs.

The continued improvement of student achievement in public education relies upon the generosity of our donors and partners. To find out more about how you can help SVEF academically prepare more Silicon Valley students for future success, visit www.svefoundation.org.


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