ING Unsung Heroes® 2013 Award Winners

Congratulations to all of our ING Unsung Heroes winners. Each year, 100 finalists receives $2,000 while three of them are selected as Top Winners to receive additional grants of $25,000, $10,000, and $5,000. You can find winners for your state or for a specific year using the controls below.


  • David Black
    Walden School of Liberal Arts
    Provo, Utah

    Black’s innovative teaching idea, “The STEM-Arts Alliance”, involves collaboration between middle and high school students where they  integrate fine arts and digital media design skills with scientific research (data collection, observation, analysis and  conclusions).They will conduct authentic field studies and analyze science data from online sources such as 3D altitude data of the moon  or Mars. They will produce videos, animations, info graphics, posters, and other products based on their research to share worldwide  through blog sites and YouTube channels.


  • Lafayette-Winona Middle School
    Norfolk, Virginia

    “Le Rocket Café”, Whitley’s winning program, is designed to promote entrepreneurialism by providing a real world setting for students with mild to moderate intellectual deficits to practice various skills. Through the student-run café, faculty and staff will be able to purchase a variety of snacks and beverages. The nearly 40 sixth-to-eighth grade students will practice and develop academic skills, as well as social, vocational, financial, and other life skills.

  • Helen Michele McVey
    North Stafford High School
    Stafford, Virginia

    McVey’s winning program, “Finance Your Future”, is designed to increase financial literacy and increase students’ awareness of the stock market. It includes the use of The Stock Market Game, a program of the SIFMA (Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association) Foundation. As the students work in teams, they will receive virtual cash accounts of $100,000. They will work together to build a  portfolio by researching and evaluating stocks and making informed decisions regarding the buying and selling of those stocks.

  • Dianna Lindsay
    Williamsburg Christian Academy
    Williamsburg, Virginia

    “Monuments, Memorials, and Museums”, Lindsay’s innovative program idea, will result in a series of 10 original YouTube/TeacherTube videos, which are 10 minutes each. The project also will involve 10 tri-fold, printed PDF brochures, 75 digital quick response (QR) codes, a single focus Twitter page, a DC blog, and five electronic games.

  • Matthew Kreydatus
    Schools at St. Joseph’s
    Villa Richmond, Virginia

    “Learning and Therapy Garden”, Kreydatus’ innovative teaching idea, is specifically designed to meet the unique needs of the students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, the population the alternative schools serve. Because many of the schools’ students are from urban neighborhoods, they have little opportunity to garden or even be in a natural setting.

  • Oakridge Elementary School
    Arlington, Virginia

    “The MOSAIC Experience”, Amin-Arsala and her colleagues’ winning teaching idea, is designed to provide hands-on experiential learning for  the 715 students from more than 50 countries at Oakridge Elementary School to increase their reading skills and inspire lifelong  learning. Each month, the entire school reads a single book portraying a different country, region, or theme and uses it to explore  culture and delve into a reading strategy appropriate for each grade level.

  • Hungary Creek Middle School
    Glen Allen, Virginia

    “Learning World Cultures Through Crafts”, Owens’ inventive program, is a visual arts course in world crafts that incorporates an international exchange between her students and students in other countries. Utilizing Skype and video streaming students will learn firsthand from each other. An emphasis will be placed on understanding crafts history, symbolism, methodology, meaning, and economic impact. The overall objective is to encourage global thinking, present career opportunities, and develop hand building and tool use skills.


  • Grace Christian School
    Bennington, Vermont

    “Using Social Media to Create Social Change” is the winning program Aalderink is going to implement at Grace Christian School. As part of the curriculum, the school’s high school students make a semiannual trip to Guatemala where they provide support to an orphanage and build houses for families. Now they will begin learning how to write and publish a blog so they can report on their activities during their trip. The goal is to show how teens can make a difference in the world and to create awareness around social issues.


  • Orting High School
    Orting, Washington

    Thompson’s winning program idea, “Environmental Monitoring Using Student Constructed Sensors.” is a problem-based project that will allow students to construct and calibrate their own temperature, pressure, conductivity and turbidity sensors based on SENSE IT (Student Enabled Network of Sensors for the Environment using Innovative Technology) designs. They will then design and conduct an environmental field investigation in the Carbon River, which runs behind the school, using their sensors. Students will practice collecting environmental data from the community.


  • Business and Economics Academy of Milwaukee
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Davis and her colleagues’ winning program idea, “The Incredible Arts Project”, will be led by students, with educators serving as  facilitators. Thirty fifth-grade students will be guided through eight weeks of ‘edible arts’ workshops. The culinary arts instructor  will teach nutrition through fun, exciting, engaging, edible workshop projects.

West Virginia

  • Erin Sponaugle
    Tomahawk Intermediate School
    Hedgesville, West Virginia

    “APPsolutely Connected to Another Culture”, Sponaugle’s innovative teaching idea, is designed to empower fifth grade students to learn  about life in another country while reinforcing the nonfiction, vocabulary, writing, and presentation standards in English language arts.  Students will use the Apple iPad mini to explore the culture and language of Germany and how life in the United States compares to life  there.