The Business Education Partnership (BEP) is awarding its inaugural Emil and Lilly Hassan Teachers’ Fund Award. (From left): Rutherford County Schools Director Bill Spurlock; BEP Executive Director Amelia Bozeman; Rebecca Jones from Rockvale High School; Emil and Lilly Hassan Teachers’ Fund Committee chairman Yaz Hassan; BEP chairwoman Julie Corcoran; and Rockvale Principal Steve Luker.

Rockvale High School teacher Rebecca Jones has been awarded the Business Education Partnership’s (BEP) inaugural Emil and Lilly Hassan Teachers’ Fund Award.

Jones will serve as chair of the Honors and Advanced Placement Biology Science Department at Rockvale when the school opens this fall. She was awarded for her proposal “Going Molecular — 21st Century Biology,” a project which will initially involve approximately 400 ninth grade students at Rockvale.

The Hassan Fund will provide $8,600 for the start-up durable lab equipment necessary for students to conduct molecular-based biological research in addition to funding consumable supplies for a variety of molecular techniques.

“What an incredible honor to have my grant selected,” Jones said. “Rockvale High School is going to be offering numerous innovative programs, and with the funds provided by the grant, the Rockvale High School Biology Department will be able to ‘Go Molecular.’ Students will have the opportunity and the equipment to conduct laboratory activities focusing on DNA studies and more, providing them with an authentic 21st century biology experience.”

Students throughout the school will be able to conduct guided investigations and apply what they learn to independent investigations within the Biology I and Advanced Placement Biology curriculum.

The Emil and Lilly Hassan Teachers’ Fund was recently established with a $100,000 donation from retired BEP board chair Emil Hassan and his wife, Lilly.

“Mrs. Jones understands the importance of providing every opportunity for our students to learn and perform at a high level and the grant will allow us to implement new strategies,” Rockvale Principal Steve Luker said.

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