Gazebo Gazette

With the application deadline extended to December 31, 2021, outstanding South Mississippi K-12 teachers now have until year-end to apply for the 2022 Leo W. Seal Innovative Teacher Grants online at

Funded by Hancock Whitney and administered by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation (GCCF), the Seal grants recognize up to 10 outstanding teachers with individual one-time $2,000 grants to activate creative teaching proposals enhancing students’ learning experiences. Certified teachers at public and private schools in the eight Mississippi counties with Hancock Whitney locations—Forrest, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Lamar, Madison, and Pearl River—are eligible to apply.

To apply, teachers must complete online letters of intent about how their proposed projects provide innovative approaches to helping students learn and support state educational requirements. GCCF will review applications and invite selected teachers to submit full grant proposals in January.

GCCF also coordinates selection of grant winners by an independent committee of business, community, and educational representatives not affiliated with Hancock Whitney.

Hancock Whitney established the Seal grant program in 1994 as a permanent endowment of the GCCF Pat Santucci Friends of Public Education program.

First presented in 1996, the awards pay tribute to the community commitment and leadership of Leo W. Seal, Sr., the bank’s president from 1932 until his death in 1963, and his son, the late Leo W. Seal, Jr., the bank’s chief executive for 45 years. Throughout their lives, both men championed countless economic and educational opportunities across the Gulf Coast.