Riverdale Teacher Wins “One Class at a Time” Grant

By Molly Seales

On Tuesday morning, May 4, students, faculty, and staff of Riverdale Academy were called to the auditorium for morning announcements.  This event was very unusual-Mrs. Stacey and Mr. Rester normally do prayer, pledge, and announcements over the intercom.  When everyone was gathered downstairs, Mr. Rester led us in the prayer and pledge. He then told us to wait patiently and that we would be having a special guest very soon.  Everyone was buzzing about who the mystery guest may be.

Right around 8:00 a.m., the side door of the auditorium flew open, and Jan Elkins from KTBS News burst in with her cameraman. Ms. Elkins exclaimed, “Excuse me; excuse me.  I need to interrupt for just one second. I am looking for Amanda Cason. She is the winner of the $1,500 ‘One Class at a Time’ grant.”  The audience immediately broke out into cheers and applause.  Mrs. Amanda had no idea she had won and was as shocked as the rest of us were.

This year Mrs. Amanda started a new project, KREB Riverdale News, in which students write, produce, edit, interview, and much more.  This project allows students to become more comfortable with public speaking while keeping parents and alumni informed about what is happening around school. Riverdale Academy is growing, and we are trying to create new classes and clubs that will serve as electives that the students can enjoy together.  The main problem this year was that the KREB staff had to borrow a camera from a family to produce the monthly news.

With the $1,500 grant, which is a joint effort of KTBS News and Barksdale Federal Credit Union, the KREB Staff will now be able to purchase its own camera and a green screen backdrop that will greatly enhance the news segment that is produced at least monthly for the YouTube Channel.  When I asked Mrs. Amanda her thoughts about receiving the grant she replied, “I was completely shocked and overwhelmed.  It was such an honor for me to be chosen and to be able to represent our wonderful small school, Riverdale Academy.”

Mrs. Amanda is an amazing high school math teacher, as well as Beta Club and sophomore class sponsor.  Principal Danny Rester said, “It was exciting to plan this surprise for Mrs. Cason and the entire school. I am so grateful that she takes the initiative to improve our school in many ways. She is truly an asset to Riverdale Academy!”  This segment is due to air on KTBS News this Friday, May 7, at 6:00 p.m.  Tune in to see the presentation from today.

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