News Details

'Teachers of the Year' among Windstream's Classroom Connections judges

March 4, 2009

'Teachers of the Year' among Windstream's Classroom Connections judges

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Windstream (NYSE: WIN) has chosen three state Teachers of the Year as judges for its new Classroom Connections program, which will provide public schools in Windstream's service area the chance to receive up to $200,000 for new technology and computer labs.

The Classroom Connections program is being launched as part of Windstream's 2009 Green Truck Tour, which the company uses to give customers hands-on interaction with its phone, high-speed Internet, and digital TV products.

All public and public charter schools in Windstream's 16-state service area are encouraged to apply for the Classroom Connections donation. Eight $25,000 donations will be made. Schools must apply for the donation online at and are required to submit a video demonstrating need for the donation. The deadline to apply is March 12.

The six judges who will review schools' applications include three state Teachers of the Year and three Windstream executives. They are:

Karen Gill is the 2009 Kentucky Teacher of the Year. She began teaching high school science in 1990 and has been teaching physics at Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Ky. since 1992. She graduated with honors from Lexington'sTransylvania University majoring in physics, mathematics and education. She has a master's degree from the University of Kentucky in science education. Gill achieved National Board Certification in adolescent and young adult science education in 2002 and received the 2003 Presidential Award for Excellence in mathematics and science teaching.

Jenna Hallman is the 2008-09 South Carolina Teacher of the Year, and is a science specialist at Calhoun Academy of the Arts in Anderson, S.C. Hallman earned a bachelor's degree from the University of South Carolina - Upstate and a master's degree in administration and supervision from Clemson University. She received her National Board Certification in 2003 and has been teaching for 10 years. Hallman recently published a manuscript in Randi Stone's Best Practices for Teaching Reading.

Deborah Wickerham is the 2008 Ohio Teacher of the Year. She is a fifth grade inclusion teacher from Findlay City Schools. She has a bachelor's degree in elementary education and deaf education from Bowling Green State University and a master's degree in educational leadership from the University of Findlay. Wickerham was a Presidential Award winner for elementary science excellence in 1999 and received her National Board Certification in 2001.

Ric Crane is executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Windstream. Crane is responsible for the company's marketing and advertising efforts, pricing, product development, marketing research and strategic business development. He has served in this position since January 2006.

Frank Schueneman is senior vice president of network services for Windstream. He is responsible for the planning, engineering and operation of Windstream's wireline network throughout its 16-state territory. Schueneman previously served as vice president of engineering for Alltel, with responsibility for Alltel's wireless and wireline networks including RF engineering, cell site construction, switching, transport and broadband data. Schueneman has over 25 years of industry experience and a broad technical background that includes design, construction and operation of wireless, wireline, long-distance and data networks.

David Avery is director of corporate communications for Windstream. He has more than 20 years experience in public relations and broadcasting. He was appointed to his current position at Windstream in 2006, and previously served as staff manager of corporate communications at Alltel Corp. Prior to joining Alltel in 1998, he served as news operations director at KATV, the ABC TV affiliate in Little Rock, Ark.

About Windstream

Windstream Corporation is an S&P 500 company that provides digital phone, high-speed Internet and high-definition video and entertainment services to customers in 16 states. The company has approximately 3 million access lines and about $3.2 billion in annual revenues. For more information, visit