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BEP Announces Emil and Lilly Hassan Teachers’ Fund Award Winner

May 31, 2019



 – The Business Education Partnership has announced the winner of the inaugural Emil and Lilly Hassan Teachers’ Fund Award.  Rebecca Jones has been awarded for her proposal “Going Molecular – 21st Century Biology”, a project which will initially involve approximately 400 9th grade students at Rockvale High School. Jones will serve as chair of the Honors and Advanced Placement Biology Science Department at Rockvale High School when the school opens this fall. 


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.  Jones was surprised and excited by the win.  “What an incredible honor to have my grant selected for the Emil and Lilly Hassan Teachers’ Fund.  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,” she said.   


Beyond the scope of the awarded project, 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.  Jones’ proposal states that students will “participate in hands-on basic microbiology techniques of plating bacteria, the basic structure of DNA, then on to the application of these basics to research in how DNA fingerprinting is done, how new classes of medicines are made, and how cells can detect the specialized chemical signals from the multitudes of hormones produced in the body”. 


The Emil and Lilly Hassan Teachers’ Fund was recently established at the Business Education Partnership with a $100,000 donation from retired BEP board chair Emil Hassan and his wife Lilly.  A selection committee comprised of leaders in both business and education was formed; the Hassans’ son Elias “Yaz” Hassan serves as chair of the committee, and their son Ramsey Hassan serves as co-chair.  Committee members deliberated individually and collectively to evaluate the proposals.


Yaz Hassan said, “It was a tough decision, but we are excited to award our parents’ first grant to Rebecca Jones for ‘Going Molecular’.  The way Rebecca will integrate the project into the curriculum is going to give her students a look into the real-world application of the science they are learning.  Ramsey and I were impressed with the number of teachers who took time to develop fabulous ideas to help the students of Rutherford County.  We encourage the teachers to keep the proposals coming, and we look forward to what great ideas are yet to come”.

When informed of the award, Rutherford County Schools Director Bill Spurlock said, “We are happy that Rebecca Jones will be the first recipient of the Emil and Lilly Hassan Teacher Fund.  The funds awarded will help provide greater opportunities for our students”.


Steve Luker will serve as principal of Rockvale High School.  “We are thrilled to find out that Mrs. Jones has been awarded The Emil and Lilly Hassan Teachers’ Fund Award for Rockvale High School. 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. We are proud to have her on our staff,” he said.


The purpose of The Emil and Lilly Hassan Teachers’ Fund is to provide resources for classroom projects that cost more than $500.  Teachers are eligible for grants in sums of up to $10,000 per proposal; a maximum of two proposals per teacher may be submitted and potentially awarded.


For more information on The Emil and Lilly Hassan Teachers’ Fund, visit rutherfordbep.org/hassan-fund.

The Business Education Partnership (BEP) Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization formed in 1988 with the help of the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce. The BEP states as its mission: “To foster interest in and to promote and support programs in public schools of the City of Murfreesboro and Rutherford County that will prepare students for the business world.” 

To support the Business Education Partnership Foundation or to learn more about its programs for teachers, school counselors, principals, and students, visit rutherfordbep.org or call (615) 278-2008.


For More Information:

Amelia Bozeman
Executive Director
Business Education Partnership Foundation
(615) 278-2008

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