Students at Wausau East will soon have a new, state of the art digital media lab, thanks to a $100,000 grant awarded this week to librarian Paula Hase.

Paula Hase

Contributed photo

Paula Hase

Paula Hase thought she was attending an anti-bullying assembly at Wausau East this week. Instead, she was surprised with a $100K grant.

The award, presented to Hase in a surprise school assembly on Tuesday, is one of six grants given to educators nationwide through the Farmers Insurance Dream Big Teacher Challenge. Hase’s proposal, “Plugged in, Engaged, and Informed: Ownership of learning through Video Production and Journalism,” was one of 15 finalists. Six winners were chosen through an online voting process that began in October. Results of the voting were kept secret until this week.

Hase is one of four East educators who helped prepare the contest entry in February. Also involved were graphics teacher Elizabeth Kysely, English instructor Kris Mela, and Kurt Hornby, the advisor for the current media lab.

The new lab will feature Mac computers, a sound booth, professional grade lighting and many other features. Students will learn about broadcasting, video production and editing, and the lab will also be used by members of the community. The project is expected to be completed by May