Community News 

Mid-Bay Rotary Club Continues Long History of TSIC Scholarship Support

On August 5, 2015, Xavier Adams-Stewart, a Take Stock in Children (TSIC) Scholarship recipient who is currently a junior at Niceville High School, spoke to the Mid-Bay Rotary Club about the importance of his Take Stock Scholarship and how it will provide him with the opportunity to make a difference in the world.  He also shared with the Rotary Club Members the importance of his Take Stock Mentor and the time that they spend together, talking of his plans and dreams and working on the ways in which he can attain them.  His goals are to go on to college and major in Computer Science with an emphasis on programmable matter.   

Xavier is the eighth student that the Mid-Bay Rotary Club has sponsored for a Take Stock Scholarship.  The Club provides not only scholarship funding but also mentors for the program. Mid-Bay President Bob Hoffman presented Xavier a paperweight with the Rotary’s Four Way Test inscribed. 

The Mid-Bay Rotary Club also presented $3,250 in scholarship funding to the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation for Take Stock.  Representatives from Take Stock included Susan Campbell, Take Stock College Readiness Coach; Cindy Frazier, Take Stock Program Coordinator, and Dort Baltes, Special Projects Coordinator.

Pictured above, left to right: Hilary Hutchings, mother of Xavier Adams-Stewart; Take Stock Scholar Xavier Adams-Stewart; Mid-Bay Rotarian Steve Gardner; and, Mid-Bay Rotary President Bob Hoffman.

About the Take Stock in Children Program

One of the primary focuses of the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation is the Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program. Take Stock is a unique and innovative program that provides four-year scholarships to deserving low-income youth who may not go on to college because of their families' financial situation. Eighth grade students with good grades, good attendance, and good discipline records who meet the income eligibility requirement are invited to apply for these scholarships. Each student who is selected signs a contract, along with his or her parent, promising to maintain a good school record, to remain drug and crime free and to meet weekly with a mentor.  Students who maintain the terms of their contracts are awarded tuition scholarships to the post-secondary institutions of their choice.

For more information on the Take Stock in Children Progam, click here.

About the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation (OPSF)

The OPSF is a not-for-profit community-based public schools foundation.  It is a partnership between families, schools, community and business.  The Foundation is dedicated to supporting and extending the educational opportunities of all individuals within Okaloosa County.  Since its establishment in 1995, OPSF has funded educational enrichment programs including teacher grants for unique programs, student scholars in the Take Stock in Children Program, community educational initiatives, and student and teacher recognition awards.

For more information on the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation, click here.

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CenturyLink Announces Grant Winners

The Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation is pleased to announce that CenturyLink, Inc. has announced the local winners of the CenturyLink Clarke M. Williams Foundation’s Teachers and Technology grant program. The program, which has been offered since 2008, awards grants to schools in CenturyLink’s local service areas on behalf of teachers who have developed specific plans to innovatively implement technology in their classrooms.

Congratulations to our winners:

  • Choctawhatchee High School was awarded $2,033.51 for Instant Outcomes: Efficient Formative Assessment through Technology, submitted by teacher David Dodson. 
  • Davidson Middle School was awarded $5,000 for Data Driven Science, submitted by Kathy Morris, to purchase ResponseCard NX devices.
  • Elliott Point Elementary School was awarded $4,969.26 for the Digital Current Events project submitted by teacher Denise Richardson.
  • Okaloosa STEMM Academy was awarded $4,990 for the project STEM: 3D Printing and Engineering Design, submitted by teacher Sarah Wilson. 
  • Wright Elementary School was awarded $5,000 for Technology Implementation in the Primary Classrooms, submitted by teacher Shannon DeBerry

To read the complete article, please click here.

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Kids Tag Art Program Receives Donation

Matt Thomas, Gulf Coast Office Products, recently donated $500.00 to the Okaloosa Public School Foundation (OPSF) in support of the Kid Tag Art Program that is conducted in partnership with the Okaloosa Tax Collector’s Office.

Pictured above are (left to right): Melissa O’Malley, OPSF Accountant;  Henry Kelley, OPSF Executive Director;   Matt Thomas, Gulf Coast Office Products; and Ben Anderson, Okaloosa Tax Collector.

“You will be hearing a lot more in the future about this innovate program to promote arts in our schools,” said Kelley.

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Panhandle Job Fair Foundation Supports TSIC Scholarships

The Panhandle Job Fair Foundation presented a check to the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation on September 18, 2014 to fund college scholarships for the Take Stock in Children program.  The presentation continues a 10-year tradition of support for Take Stock in Okaloosa County.  The commitment is an enduring one.  Members of the Panhandle Job Fair Foundation and the local employers who participate in the annual Job Fair provide not only financial support but also have served as mentors in the program and have provided work-based experiences for Take Stock Scholars.

Assistant Superintendent Marcus Chambers accepted the check on behalf of Superintendent of Schools Mary Beth Jackson.  “We thank the Panhandle Job Fair Foundation and all of the employers who are participating in the Job Fair today for their support.  Your donation to Take Stock in Children will change the lives of two young people in the Okaloosa County School District.  Without you, they would not be able to attain their dreams of attending college.  You are truly making a difference for our students and our community.”

Pictured from left to right: Debbie Buchanan, President of Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation; Michelle Crocker, President of the Panhandle Job Fair Foundation; Marcus Chambers, Assistant Superintendent of Okaloosa County School District.

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Mid-Bay Rotary Club Supports Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program

The Mid-Bay Rotary Club recently made a generous donation to the Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program of the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation.  Over the past several years, Mid-Bay Rotary has funded seven college scholarships for Take Stock Scholars in Okaloosa County.  In addition to their financial contributions, club members have served as mentors to Take Stock Scholars, providing caring guidance to students in the program.

Pictured above, left to right: Superintendent of Schools Mary Beth Jackson; Mid-Bay Rotary Club President Jeffrey Rink; and, Take Stock in Children Program Coordinator Cindy Frazier.

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Gulf Power Foundation Donates to Take Stock in Children Program

The Gulf Power Foundation recently awarded a grant to support the Take Stock in Children Scholarship program.  On behalf of the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation, Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson and Foundation President Debbie Buchanan accepted the award from Bernard Johnson, District Marketing Supervisor for Gulf Power.

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Twin Cities Woman’s Club Supports TSIC

The Twin Cities Woman’s Club (TCWC) is in its tenth year of supporting the Take Stock in Children program through contributions to scholarships, program support, and mentoring.  Two of the student scholars for whom the group provided financial support and mentoring are now college graduates. 

Recently representatives from TCWC and its Childhood Concerns Committee visited with Superintendent of Schools Mary Beth Jackson and Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation President Debbie Buchanan to present a generous donation to the Take Stock program and to express their continued commitment to the program. 

Pictured, left to right: Pictured, left to right:  Jo Ann Dunnam, TCWC, Superintendent of Schools Mary Beth Jackson, Brenda Brown, TCWC, Cindy Frazier, TSIC, and Lillian Lewis, TCWC.

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Okaloosa County School District Wins Grant from CenturyLink Foundation for Innovative Technology Projects

CenturyLink, Inc., the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (CFEF), and the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation (OPSF) recently announced the Okaloosa County winners of the CenturyLink Clarke M. Williams Foundation’s Teachers and Technology grant program – Amy Koch, Lewis School and Cathy McIntyre, Instructional Technology Department.  The program, conducted in partnership with the CFEF, launched in Florida last year and awards grants to schools in CenturyLink’s local service areas on behalf of teachers who have developed specific plans to innovatively implement technology in their classroom.

“We are very pleased to be a part of providing innovative technology in the classroom that enhances the learning experience for students in these schools,” said Randy Wood, CenturyLink vice president and general manager for Alabama and North Florida.  “It is exciting to see educators implement creative teaching techniques that assist students in hands-on learning.”

Winners were selected by a review committee comprised of community members and a CenturyLink representative.  The winning teachers’ each received a CenturyLink grant through the CFEF to be used to purchase technology to benefit students in the classroom.

  • Instructional Technology Department in Okaloosa County was awarded approximately $4,800 to purchase iPads to help prepare teachers to effectively integrate iPad technology in their classrooms. Teacher Cathy McIntyre submitted the project.
  • Lewis School in Okaloosa County was awarded nearly $5,000 to encourage research and creative story-telling using iPad technology. Teacher Amy Koch submitted the project.

Pictured in large photo above are Superintendent of Schools, Mary Beth Jackson; Eddy Stone, Gulf Coast Operations Manager, CenturyLink, Inc.; and Debbie Buchanan, OPSF President.

About the CenturyLink Foundation

CenturyLink’s vision is to improve lives, strengthen businesses and connect communities by delivering advanced technologies and solutions with honest and personal service. CenturyLink extends this vision through the CenturyLink Clarke M. Williams Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to contributing to endeavors that improve the well-being and overall quality of life for people throughout CenturyLink’s communities. Named after CenturyLink’s founder Clarke M. Williams, the Foundation is endowed by CenturyLink to support community initiatives that encourage our employees to use their time, talents and resources to strengthen the communities in which they live and work.

About the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation (OPSF)

The OPSF is a not-for-profit community-based public schools foundation.  It is a partnership between families, schools, community and business.  The Foundation is dedicated to supporting and extending the educational opportunities of all individuals within Okaloosa County.  Since its establishment in 1995, OPSF has funded educational enrichment programs including teacher grants for unique programs, student scholars in the Take Stock in Children Program, community educational initiatives, and student and teacher recognition awards.

About the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (CFEF)

The CFEF is the membership organization for Florida’s local education foundations aligned with the state’s 67 county-wide school districts.  Established in 1987, the CFEF seeks to advance student achievement in Florida by increasing private-sector investment and involvement in public education.  The CFEF now has 59 member foundations with 1,100 business and community leaders serving as volunteer board members.  Collectively, they raise nearly $60 million annually to support students, teachers and schools through a variety of programs. The CFEF has provided more than $25 million to local education foundations since 2002 through various private and public sector partnerships, including the State of Florida School District Education Foundation Matching Grant Program.

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Mid Bay Rotary Club Makes Generous Donation to Take Stock in Children

Recently the Mid-Bay Rotary Club, in partnership with Wells Fargo, made a generous donation to the Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program of the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation.  The donation continues their long-time commitment to Take Stock.  Since 2004, the club has funded four-year college scholarships for 6 students with donations totaling more than $33,000 and has provided mentors for their Mid-Bay Rotary Take Stock Scholars

Pictured above: Shannon Whittaker, Wells Fargo; Katie Anderson, Wells Fargo; Mid-Bay Rotary President Harry Snider; Superintendent of Schools Mary Beth Jackson; Jim Dixon, Mid-Bay Rotary Club Service Director; and Cindy Frazier, Take Stock Program Coordinator.

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Kit Edwards Memorial Golf Scholarship Fund Supports Take Stock In Children

The Kit Edwards Memorial Golf Scholarship Fund recently presented a generous donation to the Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program of the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation.  David Wolf presented the check to the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation for the purchase of a Take Stock in Children college tuition scholarship.  This donation represents the fifth scholarship funded by the group in memory of Kit Edwards and his work with students.

The Kit Edwards Memorial Golf Scholarship Fund was created in memory of Mr. Kit Edwards by a group of his friends and family.  Edwards was an Okaloosa County educator who taught at Choctawhatchee High School from 1973 – 1984.  After his retirement, he continued as a substitute teacher for several years.  He was remembered by (then) principal, Richard Bounds as “a very positive person and teacher; he was an excellent influence on young people.”  The scholarship fund was established to support the legacy of Mr. Edwards’ positive impact on students’ lives by provide college scholarships to Okaloosa County students.

Pictured, left to right, are Mary Beth Jackson, Superintendent of Schools; David Wolf, Kit Edwards Golf Committee; and Debbie Buchanan, President, Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation.

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Boeing Grant Awarded to Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation For STEMM

The Boeing Company has awarded a grant to the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation (OPSF) to support the continuing development of curricula and activities in the STEMM initiatives.  Grant funding will provide professional development for teachers across the Okaloosa County School District. Projects will include curriculum alignment and incorporate Robotics Teams for middle school and high school students.  Deputy Superintendent Kaye McKinley, Executive Director of the Okaloosa Public Schools, expressed her appreciation for the continuing support from Boeing: “Their generosity gives our students resources to stretch their creativity and inquisitive minds.”  Program Director for CHOICE/Career and Technical Education Patti Bonezzi echoed that sentiment, stating that Boeing’s investment in the future of Okaloosa students and staff represents the power of community partnerships.

Through their corporate grant-making, Boeing supports the development of ingenuity and innovation—hallmarks of the Boeing vision—and the advancement of students’ education, especially in the  Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) initiatives.  In addition to financial support, Boeing employees from Fort Walton Beach volunteer their time, serving as mentors and classroom resources.

Boeing joins other individuals, corporations and organizations in providing resources that extend and enhance programs and projects throughout the district.  As a member of the Florida Consortium of Education Foundations (CFEF), the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation has received a CFEF Matching Grant for the 2013-2014 school year which will match—dollar-for-dollar—the Boeing contribution.

Pictured, left to right: Debbie Buchanan, President, Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation;  Angelika Guenther, Boeing Global Corporate Citizenship (GCC) Ft. Walton Beach Site Focal; Henry P. (Hank) Sanders Director, Boeing Special Operations Forces Programs Aircraft Modernization & Sustainment; Patti Bonezzi, CHOICE/CTE Director, Okaloosa County School District; Kaye McKinley, Executive Director, Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation.

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Twin Cities Woman’s Club (TCWC) Supports Take Stock in Children

The Twin Cities Woman’s Club (TCWC) recently presented a generous donation to the Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program of the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation.  Through the efforts of members of the Childhood Concerns Committee, chaired by Jo Ann Dunnam, this funding will provide student support services for Take Stock Scholars throughout Okaloosa County.

TCWC is celebrating its 30th anniversary of charitable work in the community.  Since 2004, it has supported Take Stock through scholarship and program support donations and through mentoring.  Club members Susie Hagwood and Gloria Hovorka mentored two TSIC scholars who have graduated from college and remain in contact.  In presenting the contribution, President Lillian Lewis stated that “…club members are committed to women and children causes and especially education programs.   Scholarship programs like Take Stock in Children are a perfect fit for the Twin Cities Woman’s Club, and we look forward to another year of giving.”

Pictured, left to right, Cindy Frazier, Take Stock Program Coordinator; Lillian Lewis, President, Twin Cities Woman’s Club; and Debbie Buchanan, President, Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation.

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Emerald Coast Chapter of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) Supports Take Stock in Children Program

The Emerald Coast Chapter of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) awarded scholarships to two graduating Take Stock in Children Scholars at their meeting on May 15, 2013.  Savannah Birkestrand, Choctawhatchee High School, and Adam Crowson, Baker School, were selected to receive the $500 awards which will support their studies at the University of Florida.  This year marks the fifth year that SHRM has funded scholarships for Take Stock students in Okaloosa County.  In presenting the scholarships, Chapter President Robin Grobsmith, Human Resources Manager for Jacobs Technology, remarked that SHRM Emerald Coast Chapter “…appreciates the opportunity to support Savannah and Adam as they pursue their dreams.”

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Emerald Coast Chapter is an organization comprised of human resource professionals in Okaloosa and Walton Counties.

Recognized as a Superior Merit or Merit Chapter every year since its inception, the Emerald Coast Chapter is a top-notch organization with an abundance of benefits to offer its members.  SHRM provides an opportunity to grow professionally, network with others, share best practices, and attend conferences and seminars related to the Human Resources field.  The members also participate in the exchange of current job postings and resumes saving recruiting time and money.

Pictured above, left to right: Adam Crowson; Cindy Frazier, TSIC Program Coordinator; Savannah Birkestrand; Robin Grobsmith, SHRM President

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Gulf Power Foundation Supports Take Stock in Children Program

The Gulf Power Foundation recently awarded a grant to the Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program of Okaloosa County.  Administered through the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation, Take Stock provides scholarships, mentors and hope to deserving students in every high school in the county.  For the 2012-2013 school year, there are 100 Take Stock Scholars, each of whom is matched with a community-based mentor.

To further deserving causes in education, the Gulf Power Foundation awards grants aimed at building knowledge and enhancing the quality of life and the economic well-being of communities in the company’s service area. Since its beginning in 1987, the Gulf Power Foundation has invested over $4 million dollars to tax-exempt organizations not only in education but also in the areas of health and human services, the arts, community services and civic projects.

On behalf of the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation, Superintendent of Schools Mary Beth Jackson accepted the grant award from Bernard Johnson, District Marketing Supervisor for Gulf Power.

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Twin Cities Woman's Club Supports Take Stock in Children Program

Twin Cities Woman’s Club (TCWC), is a long-time supporter of the Take Stock in Children (TSIC) Scholarship Program of the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation. Former TSIC Mentor Susie Hagwood invited Niceville High School TSIC Scholar Destiny Rutland, her mentor and TSIC staff to present an informative program at their monthly meeting in April.

Pictured, left to right:

Lillian Lewis, President, TCWC;  Cindy Frazier, Program Coordinator, TSIC; Pam Walters, Coordinator – NWFSC Career and Women’s Resource Center, TSIC Mentor; Destiny Rutland, TCWC Take Stock in Children Scholar; JoAnn Dunnam, TCWC Chairman of Childhood Concerns Committee; Dort Baltes, Special Projects Coordinator, TSIC

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 American Business Women's Association Emerald Coast Chapter Funds TSIC Scholarship

The American Business Women’s Association (ABWA) Emerald Coast Chapter recently announced that they will be funding a Take Stock in Children Scholarship through the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation.  The scholarship recipient will be announced in the Spring of 2013 and will be matched with a mentor from ABWA.

The scholarship donation was presented at the January meeting of the Emerald Coast Chapter.  Superintendent Mary Beth Jackson expressed her appreciation for the dedication of ABWA members to provide a young woman in Okaloosa County with the opportunity of achieving her dream of attaining a college degree. 

“This scholarship represents a community-based partnership that supports our belief in our students and the future," said Jackson.  "We value both your financial commitment and your commitment to provide a mentor for the ABWA Take Stock Scholar.”

ABWA provides business training and networking opportunities for women of diverse occupations and backgrounds.  The organization supports personal and professional growth through leadership, education, networking support and national recognition.

Superintendent of Schools Mary Beth Jackson and Foundation President Bernard Johnson of Gulf Power accepted the scholarship donation from ABWA President Amy McBride.  The donation will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation.

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STD Supports Take Stock in Children

The Emerald Coast Chapter of the American Society for Training & Development (ASTD) recently made a generous contribution to the Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program of the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation.  The contribution from ASTD will fund services to the 100 Take Stock Scholars and Mentors in Okaloosa County and will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, by the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations.

The members of ASTD are long-time supporters of Take Stock, providing financial support as well as mentors for the program. 

ASTD is the world’s largest association dedicated to learning and performance that provides research tools and information to assist professionals in meeting their career goals.

Accepting the check from ASTD President Tracey Tapp of Human Resource Solutions, Inc. is Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation President Bernard Johnson of Gulf Power.

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Wells Fargo Makes Generous Donation to Take Stock in Children

Wells Fargo has awarded the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation a grant to support the Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program.  The grant will provide support services for the 100 Okaloosa County Take Stock Scholars and their mentors. 

The check was presented by Kimberly Ellis, Senior Relationship Manager with Wells Fargo.  “Wells Fargo is proud to support the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation and Take Stock in Children,” said Ellis. “Investing in education and our schools is an important part of our community commitment. We recognize that such an investment helps promote long-term economic prosperity and quality of life for everyone in our communities.” 

In accepting the grant funding of $3,900 on behalf of the Foundation, Superintendent of Schools Mary Beth Jackson spoke of the students whose hopes and dreams will be supported by Wells Fargo.  “This grant will assure that our 100 Take Stock in Children Scholars have the guidance and support necessary to attain success, graduate from high school and go on to post-secondary education.  It is an investment in the future that will serve our students and our community well.”

Take Stock is a unique Florida program that provides college scholarships to young people who have good school records but who may not be able to attend college because of their families’ financial situation.   It is administered through the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation. The Wells Fargo grant will provide support services to enhance the academic and advocacy programs for the 100 Okaloosa County Take Stock students as well as support for their community-based mentors.  Each Take Stock Scholar signs a contract, pledging to maintain his or her good school record, stay drug-free and crime-free and meet with a school-based community mentor throughout high school.  Upon graduation, that student is awarded a scholarship to the school of his or her choice.  For more information about Take Stock in Children and the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation, visit Support Our Schools.

About Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.4 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com), and has offices in more than 35 countries to support the bank’s customers who conduct business in the global economy. With more than 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States.  Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 26 on Fortune’s 2012 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially.  

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Cox Communication Makes Generous Donation to Take Stock in Children

  

Cox Communication recently made a generous donation to the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation to fund a Take Stock in Children Scholarship.  The Take Stock Scholarship contribution is a continuation of the long-standing partnership between Cox and the Okaloosa County School District.  In accepting the check from Kristin Taylor, Public Affairs Specialist for Cox Communications, Superintendent of Schools Mary Beth Jackson spoke about the multi-faceted relationship between the District and Cox.  “From the Cox sponsorship of the Inspirational Student Hero Awards to the broadcasting of the Okaloosa County School Board meetings, Cox Communications demonstrates a real commitment to giving back to our community.  We appreciate their support for our students—especially this contribution which guarantees that a deserving Okaloosa County student will earn the opportunity to go on to college.”  Ms. Taylor echoed Superintendent Jackson’s appreciation for the relationship between Cox and the School District, emphasizing the benefit to students, parents and district staff as well as to the community-at-large.  “We are pleased to provide this Take Stock in Children Scholarship as a demonstration of our support for the academic excellence promoted by the Okaloosa County Schools.  It is an investment in the future—and in the hopes and dreams of a young person.”

Pictured, left to right, Kristin Taylor, Public Affairs Specialist for Cox Communications, Superintendent of Schools Mary Beth Jackson and Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation President Bernard Johnson of Gulf Power.

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Boeing Makes Generous Donation to Okaloosa County School District

 

Boeing recently made a generous donation of $35,000 to the Okaloosa County School District to support several STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) initiatives throughout the county. Superintendent Dr. Alexis Tibbetts accepted the check from Boeing representatives, Paul Jernigan and Susan Ault-Davis. The Boeing donation will promote hands-on/inquiry-based professional development and activities that will help strengthen the STEM skills of Okaloosa’s students as a way to address the increasing demand for jobs requiring strong foundations in these areas.

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Bank of America Makes Donation to Take Stock In Children

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has awarded a grant to the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation in support of the Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program, continuing a long-standing partnership between the Foundation and Bank of America.  Take Stock currently serves 100 high school students from across Okaloosa County.  Those students and their mentors will benefit from the activities and support services funded through the grant.  The check was presented by Sean Phillips, Director of the Merrill Lynch Emerald Coast Complex. 

Pictured, left to right: Bernard Johnson of Gulf Power, President of Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation; Sean Phillips, Director of the Merrill Lynch Emerald Coast Complex; Okaloosa County Deputy Superintendent Kaye McKinley, Executive Director of Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation.

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 All Sports Association Makes Donation to Take Stock in Children

The All Sports Association recently made a generous donation to the Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program of the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation.  Their contribution will provide support for Take Stock scholar-athletes who have made a pledge to sustain good school records and stay drug-free and crime-free throughout their high school careers.  The All Sports contribution will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, by a grant from the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations.

Pictured, left to right: Bernard Johnson, Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation President; Chad Hamilton, All Sports Association President; Okaloosa Schools Superintendent Dr. Alexis Tibbetts; Choctaw Take Stock Scholar-Athlete Caneisaya Matthews; Coach Don Brown; Choctaw Principal Cindy Gates.

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Okaloosa County Sherriff's Office Supports Take Stock in Children with Donation

The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office recently made a generous donation to the Take Stock in Children Scholarship program to support the mentoring program of Take Stock.  Superintendent Dr. Alexis Tibbetts accepted the check from Sheriff Larry Ashley on behalf of the Foundation.  The OCSO donation will promote mentoring services and activities that assist Take Stock Scholars in maintaining their pledge to sustain good school records and stay drug-free and crime-free throughout their high school careers.

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Mid Bay Rotary Club Makes Generous Donation to Take Stock in Children

Recently the Mid-Bay Rotary Club made a generous donation to the Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program of the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation.  The donation continues their long-time commitment to Take Stock.  Since 2004, the club has funded four-year college scholarships for 6 students with donations totaling more than $32,000 and has provided mentors for their Mid-Bay Rotary Take Stock Scholars.  President Dave Underwood was joined by club member Frank McCarty in presenting a check for $3,250 to Superintendent Alexis Tibbetts and Foundation President Bernard Johnson.  The donation represents one half of a Take Stock Scholarship and will be matched, dollar-for-dollar by the Florida Prepaid College Foundation.

Pictured from left to right: Dort Baltes, Take Stock Special Projects Coordinator; Mid-Bay Rotary President Dave Underwood; Superintendent of Schools Dr. Alexis Tibbetts; Frank McCarty, Mid-Bay Rotary Club; Cindy Frazier, Take Stock Program Coordinator; Bernard Johnson, Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation President.

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Twin Cities Woman's Club Makes Donation to Take Stock in Children

The Twin Cities Woman's Club recently made a generous donation to the Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program. Take Stock is administered by the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation and provides college scholarships to deserving young people who need financial assistance to attend college. Pictured, left to right: Jo Ann Dunnam, Take Stock Program Coordinator Cindy Frazier and Susie Hagwood.

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Gulf Power Foundation Awards Grant In Support of Take Stock in Children

The Gulf Power Foundation has awarded a grant in support of the Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program of Okaloosa County. Take Stock is administered by the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation and provides college scholarships to deserving young people who need financial assistance to attend college. Pictured, left to right: Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation Treasurer Bob Bennett, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Alexis Tibbetts and Bernard Johnson, Gulf Power District Marketing Supervisor.

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Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) Emerald Coast Chapter Awards Scholarships

Take Stock in Children Scholar Jessica Porter was awarded a $500 college scholarship by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Emerald Coast Chapter.  Jessica is a graduate of Choctaw High School and will attend the University of West Florida.  Pictured, left to right, SHRM President Tami Manard, SHRM Member Larry Tipton and Jessica Porter.

Take Stock in Children Scholar Thuyvi Luong is the recipient of a $500 college scholarship from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Emerald Coast Chapter.  Thuyvi is a graduate of Niceville High School and will attend the University of Florida.  Pictured, left to right, SHRM President Tami Manard, SHRM Member Larry Tipton and Thuyvi Luong.

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Take Stock in Children Scholarship Donated by Panhandle Job Fair Foundation

The Panhandle Job Fair Foundation donated $7,500 for a four-year college scholarship to the Take Stock in Children Program of the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation. Click here to read complete story.

Pictured above (left to right): Bernard Johnson, Gulf Power/Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation President; Marcy Silva, Airman and Family Readiness Center, Eglin AFB/PJFF Scholarship & Volunteer Chair; Lenore Wilton, Kelly Services/PJFF Treasurer; Ester Molder, University of West Florida/PJFF President; Cindy Frazier, Take Stock in Children Program Coordinator; Andrea Rymer, University of West Florida/PJFF Secretary; Dawn Lowe, Northwest Florida Daily News/PJFF Technology Chair.

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L-3 Communications Proud Sponsor of the Teacher of the Year Banquet

L-3 Communications recently presented Dr. Alexis Tibbetts, Superintendent of Schools, with a check for $6,000 as the proud sponsor of the Okaloosa County School District’s Teacher of the Year Banquet.

Pictured with Superintendent Tibbetts are Lee Wetzell, L-3 Program Manager, OCSD Seat Management Program; Dave Ramirez, L-3 Senior VP & General Manager Civil Government Solutions Business Unit; and Charles Jarrow, L-3 VP State and Local Government Solutions.

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Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation Awarded Matching Grant from Consortium of Florida Education Foundations

The Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (CFEF), in conjunction with the State of Florida Department of Education recently awarded the Okaloosa Public Schools Foundation more than $19,000 in matching funds through the School District Education Foundation Matching Grant Program.

To read complete story, click here.

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Wells Fargo Supports District's Homeless Student Initiative

Wells Fargo donated $3,100 to the Okaloosa County School District in October 2011 in support of the Homeless Student Initiative. Wells Fargo’s mission is to build strong and vibrant communities, improve the quality of life, and make a positive difference.