The Pentucket Education Foundation recently held its 1st Annual Evening of Education Celebration highlighting innovative work being performed within the Pentucket Regional Schools as well as announcing the Trailblazer award winners and a $5,000 Innovation grant.

WEST NEWBURY, MASS. – (November 8, 2016):  A wonderful time was had by all attendees including school children, parents, educators, staff and community members of the Pentucket Regional School District at the Pentucket Education Foundation’s recent Evening of Education Celebration event held at Renaissance County Club in Haverhill.  After a brief introduction to the PEF by president, Anna Marie Beech the evening showcased education highlights currently being worked on throughout the different schools of the district.  These included Shawn MacDonald and studentTroy Bockman demonstrating the Engineering is Elementary project including a live demonstration of how a suppression bridge can support weights.  Next up was Dan Millard and student Peter Sunkenberg showcasing the Business, Finance and Entrepreneurship Academy.  Attendees learned about all of the various business ventures created by Pentucket Students, some of which have already generated revenue income for themselves and the program.  Concluding the education presentations was Anthony Beatrice and student Alec Perrotti showcasing the Music Conservatory program.  Attendees were able to learn about all of the different programs running within the music program including the composing opportunities.

Next up was the awarding of the 2015-2016 Trailblazer award winners.  The Trailblazer Awards recognize one instructor from each school in the Pentucket Regional School District (PRSD) for their passion, innovation and commitment to education. Each winner also receives $500 to apply to their curriculum goals. Instructors are nominated by parents, students, colleagues and other members of the PRSD community.

“We launched the PEF six years ago to provide a ‘center of gravity’ for providing financial support to innovative educational initiatives in the PRSD,” said PEF President Anna Marie Beech. “The Trailblazer Awards are one of the ways in which we provide community support to our best and brightest instructors. We are encouraged by the community support in recognizing the great work of our PRSD instructors, and to celebrate all that the PEF has been able to accomplish in the last six years.”

The PEF is proud to announce the following winners:

Ms. Erica Wentworth from the Dr. John C. Page School; Ms. Cathy Bevelacqua from the Bagnall School; Ms. Robin Nightingale from the Donaghue/Sweetsir School; Ms. Cheryl Martin from the Pentucket Regional Middle School and Ms. Cynthia Cromwell from the Pentucket Regional High School.  Also, unveiled were a commerative plaque to hang at the district office outlining the previous years’ winners from all of the schools.

The highlight of the evening was the awarding of a $5,000 Innovation School Grant Award.  The PEF received numerous grant applications across all of the district schools.  Grant requests included items such as - the creation of a radio station for the middle and high school music conservatory, Equipment and supplies for the Movement and Science Programs, 3rd Grade Liberty Tour/Boston Tea-Party Museum activities, 2 days of STEAM Based activities for the Page elementary school, Mass College of Art Studio sessions, and Outdoor exploration area for the Sweetsir School and Uncovering Scientific and Mathematical Concepts by Tinkering for the Bagnall School. 

The grant was awarded to the Bagnall School for their grant request Uncovering and Mathematical Concepts by Tinkering.  This project provides a cumulative programming and robotic curriculum in support of their STEAM environment.  This includes:  Pre-K-2: tubs of tinkering materials & beginning robots; 3&4 – little bits kits for next generation science standards and grades 5 & 6- Vex IQ Robotic kits.  This grant was a true collaboration across the entire staff of the Bagnall school and will be a sustainable project for many years to come.

The PEF would love to award many of the other grant requests received but relies on fundraising in order to grant these awards.  Anyone wishing to make a contribution can do so on the foundation website at

About the PEF

The Pentucket Education Foundation (PEF) was founded in 2010 in response to the intense budgetary pressures facing the six schools in the Pentucket Regional School District (PRSD). Since that time, the PEF’s grants have enabled teachers to enrich the learning experience for students’ district-wide with new technologies, programs and resources. The PEF has also funded infrastructure improvements such as the creation of a state-of-the-art science and math lab at Pentucket High School, and deployment of modern wireless connectivity across the PRSD.  The PEF relies on the generosity of private citizens and local businesses in its fundraising efforts, as well as the active participation of volunteers to staff its many programs and events. For more information on getting involved, please email