News/Press Releases

September 19, 2013

Leo Seal Innovative Teacher Grant Opportunities Now Online
Educators can apply for kudos and cash

GULFPORT, Miss. (September 19, 2013)–Outstanding educators in the seven Mississippi counties which Hancock Bank serves can now apply online for the 2014 Leo W. Seal Innovative Teacher Grants–$2,000 awards for creative initiatives that complement classroom teaching.

Previously, parents, students, administrators, community members, and potential recipients first completed online nomination forms. Eligible nominees responded with letters of intent; then, selected nominees developed full project proposals. This year, exceptional educators with original teaching ideas can apply themselves for Seal grants with letters of intent stating up front how their proposed projects can enrich students’ educational experiences and support state requirements.

Funded by Hancock Bank in partnership with the Gulf Coast Community Foundation (GCCF), the Innovative Teacher Grants–formerly called the Leo W. Seal Teacher Recognition Awards–reward and foster educational excellence among certified K-12 teachers at public and private schools in Forrest, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Lamar, and Pearl River counties. The 2014 Seal grants will honor up to 10 teachers with individual one-time $2,000 grants.

Letters of Intent are available at and are due no later than November 4, 2013. GCCF will invite selected teachers to submit full grant applications by the end of November.

GCCF manages the Seal awards endowment as a permanent fund of the Pat Santucci Friends of Public Education program. The foundation also coordinates selection of winners by an independent selection committee of business, community, and educational representatives not affiliated with Hancock Bank.

Established in 1993, the Seal grants commemorate the leadership and achievements of Leo W. Seal, Sr.–Hancock Bank president from 1932 until his death in 1963–and his son, the late Leo W. Seal, Jr., Hancock’s chief executive for 45 years. Both men helped create countless economic and educational opportunities across the Gulf Coast.

Founded in 1899, Hancock Bank has ranked among America’s strongest, safest, most trustworthy financial institutions for more than 23 consecutive years. Hancock Holding Company is the parent company of Hancock Bank in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida and Whitney Bank in Louisiana and Texas. More information and e-Banking are available at


For More Information
R. Paul Maxwell
VP, Director Corporate Communications
228.867.8690 or