Promoting and Encouraging Academic Excellence
Grove Education Foundation for Excellence

2017 Shining Star Award Winners


 Kindergarten- 3rd grade Music Education teacher Lisa Lovelady was nominated for two grants, “Crash! Boom! Bang!” and “Interactive Games & Musicals.” The first grant of $976.51 funded musical instruments including Konga, Bongo, and Gathering drums as well as tambourines, boom whackers, and sound shape makers to enhance rhythm, creativity, and coordination in music classes.  The second grant of $964.39 funded a variety of music materials including music software, games, math, reading & science focused music, and musicals to reinforce classroom skills and enhance concert performances.  A native Grove, Oklahoman Lovelady received a degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education from NEO A&M and Northeastern State University and later earned her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education at Northeastern State University.  She has been in teaching for 29 years. After 22 years in the classroom, she recently transitioned to teaching music for 750 kindergarten, first, second, and third grade students.

 “GEFFE has been the MAJOR funding source for the materials I have received at both the Lower Elementary and ECC sites. GEFFE has TRANSFORMED my music program! Thank you!”


 Hampton and Crowder co-authored the grant titled “Expeditions for Everyone” on behalf of the Upper Elementary 6th grade Geography Teachers. The $9,999,00 grant purchased the cutting edge virtual reality program called Google Expeditions. The 30-student kit includes view masters that allow students to take virtual field trips to places they have never been. Students can see the Great Barrier Reef, travel down the esophagus while exploring the human body, and see the different types of volcanoes from all round the world. Even though the Google Expeditions Program has only been up for a month, the sixth-grade students have visited monuments in Washington D.C., third grade students have seen multiple volcano sights, and a first grade class even ventured under the ocean to encounter sharks first hand!

Hampton, who graduated from Grove High School, received her Bachelor’s degree at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. She has been an educator for 19 years, 18 within Grove Public Schools. She is also a past recipient of numerous GEFFE grants. Hampton and her husband, David, have three children, all of whom attended Grove Schools. She also has two grandchildren. Hampton’s oldest son, Ben, is a GEFFE Board member. 

 “We know that so much learning happens when you do hands on activities. When we give our students opportunities, we see results and our community is a better place. Thank you GEFFE!!” 

 Crowder is a native of Grove, having attended K-12 at Grove Public Schools, and later earning her Bachelor in Business Administration at the University of Oklahoma. She has been teaching six years at Grove Public Schools and has been the recipient of multiple GEFFE grants including two other grants in 2016. She and her husband, Dusty, have two daughters, Eliana who is currently in first grade and Ayla who will be entering Pre-K next year. “GEFFE grants have helped me and my students do so many different things that never would have been possible. We also daily use math manipulatives and Chrome books that have been GEFFE funded. Students have become more familiar with the technology that will drive their future.” 


Wilhelm authored three grants totaling $12,014.99. GEFFE funded all three grants which provided new portable microphone system, a Field PA system with a mixer, and a synthesizer, all of which will enhance the band’s programs and allow their students to perform with 21st century technology. Joe Wilhelm is a native Oklahoman who received his public school education in Sapulpa. Wilhelm is a 1981 graduate of the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor of Science of Education degree in music. In 1987 he received his Masters in Education degree from Northeastern State University in Oklahoma. Wilhelm has directed bands in the Grove Public school system for the past thirty five years. His duties include marching, concert, and jazz bands. In 2016, Wilhelm was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Educators Hall of Fame. He is married to Patsy, a first grade teacher in Grove. They have three children who are all graduates of Grove High School; Joseph, class of 2007, Jordan, class of 2009,and Joshua, class of 2011. Of note, Jordan has recently joined the GEFFE Board. Wilhelm is very appreciative of the GEFFE Organization for what they have done for Grove Public Schools. Especially for the many grants through the years that have benefitted the Grove band program.