Sarasota, FL – June 6, 2012 – Taking the gavel from Mike Bryant, new board chairman Peter Hayes congratulated his predecessor for steering the Education Foundation of Sarasota County through a challenging year.
“You set a high standard for our board members this year, with a level of energy and dedication to our mission that will be tough to match,” Hayes said at the group’s annual meeting held today at Michael’s on East in Sarasota.
As the Foundation’s incoming chair, Hayes also recognized the efforts of fellow board members, employees, and executive director Susan Scott. During the past year, the group conducted a successful search for new staff leadership while raising over $1 million for classroom grants, technology, literacy, student awards, teacher recognition and other programs. The Foundation awarded $175,033 for 201 classroom grant projects developed by teachers from 40 different public schools in the district. Its Texcellence Computer Donation Program delivered computers, training and technical support to more than 1,000 students and their families during this school year, reaching over 5,420 since the project was launched in April 2007.
Officers elected to serve with Hayes for 2012-2013 were Cheryl Gordon, vice chairman; Greg Banach, secretary; and Fred Strammer, treasurer. New members of the board elected to serve three-year terms were Tricia Fulton, CFO of Sun Hydraulics; Susan R. Morris, President of NOWI, llc and a former member of the Foundation’s board from 2003 to 2009; and Kimberly Walker, attorney and head of Williams Parker’s labor and employment practice.
Retiring board members honored for their service were Bruce Beckstein, Allen Carlson, and Christina Pfahler. Each received a personalized red marble apple in appreciation, marking their terms of service.
Emeritus board member Shirley Ritchey led a memorial tribute to long-time supporter Don Smally, who died earlier this year. Both worked with a small group of community volunteers to found the Education Foundation in 1988.
Other special guests speaking at the luncheon were graduating senior Amanda Holly from Sarasota High, Teacher of the Year Victor Fernandez from Booker Middle School, and classroom grant recipient Gayle Heskett from Glenallen Elementary School. Holly was one of two overall winners at the 2012 Regional Science, Engineering and Technology Fair. She went on to participate in the Intel International Science Fair in Pittsburgh last month, all expenses paid by the Education Foundation.
Dedicated to quality education for all children, the Education Foundation of Sarasota County was founded in 1988 as an independent, not-for-profit organization working in partnership with Sarasota County Schools and the community. With the support of individuals, families, businesses, civic groups and foundations, the Education Foundation awards more than a million dollars each year to initiatives that elevate our public schools to the top of Florida’s education system: teacher classroom grants, fine arts programs, scholarships and mentorships, Literacy for Life, the Texcellence Home Computer Donation Program, Teacher of the Year, Academic Olympics and the Regional Science, Engineering and Technology Fair. For more information visit EdFoundation.net or call 941-927-0965.
Outgoing Education Foundation board chairman Mike Bryant thanks retiring board member Bruce Beckstein.
Mike Bryant thanks retiring board member Christina Pfahler.
New Education Foundation board members Susan Morris and Tricia Fulton.