2023 Leo Seal Innovative Teacher Grant Applications Available Online

Educational excellence awards recognize top teachers, fund creative learning projects

GULFPORT, Miss. (November 1, 2022)—Applications for 2023 Leo W. Seal Innovative Teacher Grants are now available online at The application deadline is January 13, 2023.

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 grants of up to $2,000 to activate creative teaching proposals enhancing students’ learning experiences and supporting Mississippi educational requirements.

Certified K-12 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.

How to Apply

To apply for 2023 Seal grants, teachers submit full project proposals by the January 13, 2022, deadline, detailing how their projects can enhance students’ educational experiences while supporting state curriculum. This year’s application process offers a more streamlined timeline to help expedite selection of grant recipients and funding to activate winning projects.

“In the past, teachers submitted letters of intent before knowing whether they were selected to provide full project proposals,” said GCCF President and Executive Director Christen H. Duhé. “This year, applicants simply submit their full, detailed project proposal for consideration, which reduces the time necessary to evaluate proposals and select grant winners.”

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

More about the Seal Grants

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.

About Hancock Whitney

Since the late 1800s, Hancock Whitney has embodied core values of Honor & Integrity, Strength & Stability, and Commitment to Service, Teamwork, and Personal Responsibility. Hancock Whitney offices and financial centers in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, and Texas offer comprehensive financial products and services, including traditional and online banking; commercial and small business banking; private banking; trust and asset management services; healthcare banking; and mortgage services. The company also operates a loan production office in Nashville, Tennessee. More information is available at

About the Gulf Coast Community Foundation

The Gulf Coast Community Foundation is a non-profit public charity serving the people of South Mississippi since 1989. The Foundation’s primary mission is to increase philanthropy by assisting donors in establishing endowments and legacy giving plans, making grants to worthy causes, and providing leadership in response to the community’s changing needs.

Hancock Whitney Media Contact:
Paul Maxwell, Senior Communications Officer

Gulf Coast Community Foundation Media Contact
Christen Duhé, President & Executive Director

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