"I've enjoyed leading this group and organization for the last three years immensely, it's been a passion of mine since I met [Executive Director Dot Frasier] about 12 years ago," said President Olen Suire during his last meeting. " ... My wife and I don't have any children but understand the value of educating children."
Suire appointed Wayne Moore as president, Anthia McStatts-Santini as first vice president, Larry Holt as second vice president, Adena Harper as secretary and Sandy Taylor continuing as treasurer. He said he plans to continue serving the foundation.
The foundation was established in the early 2000s as a nonprofit designed to provide additional support for the Bartow County School System, its employees and students.
Bartow teachers who are seeking additional classroom funding can apply for a grant up to $500 through the foundation. A three-person panel will evaluate the request and if approved, the teacher will receive the funding to be used toward classroom improvement based upon their request.
"We have about $80,000 to give out again [this year]," McStatts-Santini said.
Frasier explained, "What we have to do is allot so much [money] for elementary school, so much for middle school and so much for high school and then when our money runs out we have to cut it off. They are all really fascinating grants and last year the [selection] committee had such a hard time trying to select [applications], but when you go back to the schools and you see the things they're doing with these grants, it's just awesome.
"... These grants do a really good job at keeping kids turned on, tuned in and keeping them interested."
Examples of classroom grants include using technology like iPads and SMART Boards, but also have helped in allowing schools acquire materials for greenhouses and have aided the performing arts. Visit The Daily Tribune News online archives at www.daily-tribune.com for stories profiling how teacher grants are being used at schools across the county.
Along with providing grants to teachers based on community donations, the foundation also honors those in the various facets of the school system.
The foundation plans this year to honor lunchroom staff, bus drivers, host a teacher-of-the year banquet and principal appreciation breakfast as well as recognize the school board, employees of the month and the maintenance department and the school board.
For more information, Frasier can be reached at the central office, 770-606-5800.