Blackfoot teacher wins $100,000 grant

Blackfoot teacher Melissa Hunt has won a national contest that will allow her to make big investment in her elementary school.

Melissa Hunt
Melissa Hunt

On Friday, Hunt won $100,000 through Farmers Insurance’s “Dream Big Challenge.” Earlier this year, Hunt was selected from a pool of thousands of teachers to to earn a spot among the 15 finalists in the program.

She became one of five teachers from across the country who received a grant for their schools.

“I’ll have to wake up tomorrow to make sure this isn’t a dream,” Hunt told the Blackfoot Journal. “I feel very supported and blessed.”

Hunt will use the money for technology enhancements at I.T. Stoddard Elementary. Her grant application, “Learning Today, Leading Tomorrow,” outlined her vision to upgrade Stoddard into a state-of-the-art learning environment. In order to help students have the resources to succeed, she called for investing in computers, tablets, smart boards and online curricula materials at the Blackfoot school.

“We want (our students) to have the same opportunity as all children — to learn today so that they can be leaders tomorrow,” Hunt said in her application. “I’ve always wanted to be able to give to my student and give back to this wonderful staff that I work with.”

“I work with the most amazing teachers and we just need some help,” she continued.

Idaho residents helped Hunt realize her dream by voting in the online contest  between Oct. 1 through Nov 30 at


Clark Corbin

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