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Baltimore City Teacher Wins CIA Contest To Upgrade School Technology

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- What teacher Jenna Porter thought was a meeting with the principal turned out to be the biggest surprise she's ever had.

The smile shone through her mask at Roland Park Elementary School when she found out she won a $25,000 because she found out she won a $25,000 prize from the CIA and their Mission Possible classroom transformation competition.

"I'm in shock right now," she said. "I thought this was going to be a climate meeting for next year."

The money will go to upgrading technology. The talented kids took all these photos using their own phones! She submitted this video after applying and it paid off big time, making it a game-changer for her students. 

"There's just endless possibilities we'll be able to use these cameras for especially with collaboration," she said.

Michael Holtz works with the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, which manages the program. 

"The 25k will be great for the students she'll have in the upcoming school year but she'll have this equipment for years to come so basically this prize for her will set the stage," he said.

Principal Amanda Brown said Porter is a credit to Roland Park Elementary.

"She reached out with this vision about our photography program with other ways to expand to art and she brings her passion every day to school," she smiles. 

Out with the old iPhones. Here come DSLR cameras, supplies and new space for creativity. Little Eden, Brown's daughter, handing Porter the check simultaneously changes the fortune of the young minds of tomorrow. 

Blushing through the deserving attention, Porter has earned the respect of her peers and her students.

"It just comes down to them, she said. "Everything I do is about them."

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