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COVID-19 Creativity
Part #2
Due to the pandemic, there were monies budgeted for 2020 that the Foundation for Excellence was unable to spend.  What initially presented as an obstacle evolved into two exciting opportunities for the FFE to recognize and reward some of our excellent faculty and staff.
Employee of the Month

The Georgia Department of Education suspended the Teacher of the Year competition for 2020 due to mass school closings for COVID.  That left the FFE with endowed funds designated for the Clarke County School District Teacher and Parapro of the Year to creatively spend.  We partnered with the CCSD (kudos to Communications Manager Beth Moore!) for School Year 2020/21 in a new inititative to nominate and select an employee each month who would receive a $200 check from the FFE as well as several other prizes and gift cards from businesses and organizations in the community.  The “Employee of the Month” program spotlights CCSD staff members for their service and dedication to the students and families of Athens-Clarke County. Click here for more info and to submit a nomination (due by the 20th of each month).  Congratulations to the stellar employees who have received the awards to date:
Evan and Melissa Howell--Parapros, Gaines Elementary
David Brownlee--Teacher, Barnett Shoals Elementary
Barry Johnson--Transporation
Carla Williams--Teacher, Cleveland Road Elementary

Parapro-to-Teacher Pipeline

The FFE board of trustees regretfully voted to temporarily halt our grants process in 2020 since the Clarke County School District was completely virtual.  We were invited to partner with CCSD Human Resources in an innovative and impactful initiative that assists current parapros in their journey to become fulltime teachers.  Former Director of Talent Management and Retention Michael Harris and our own FFE trustee Tad MacMillan had a vision for this endeavor, and the results have been inspiring!  The FFE budgeted $5000 to directly reimburse employees for the cost of the many and varied assessments they must pass to become certified to teach. There are 40 parapros in this first cohort, and there have been over $3000 in assessment reimbursements so far! It can be very costly, especially on a parapro salary, to reach the certification finish line. The Program Admissions Assessment costs around $234 in total (this is a 3 part assessment) while the Ethics Assessment costs $30. Prospective teachers are also required to take a content assessment, and the cost of these assessments fluctuates depending on the field.  Generally they have ranged from $125 to $246 apiece.  Many thanks to CCSD HR Specialist Jenna Bell who has been our point of contact in this process.
FFE Award Window Opens!
We are looking forward to selecting and announcing our 2021 award winners on the first day of school district pre-planning this summer.  Our nominating window will open Monday, March 29th, and close Friday, May 7th.  Please go to for information moving forward.
2020 FFE Award Winner Videos

Keep an eye out on our website and Facebook page this week for last year's award winners' videos to go live!  While we missed our annual in person reception, we are so excited about showcasing these special folks in this new way.  Thanks so much to CCSD Multi Media Specialist (and former FFE winner!) Harold Faison who produced the presentation for the Foundation for Excellence.

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Foundation for Excellence in Public Education in Clarke County, GA · P.O. Box 1708 · Athens, GA 30603 · USA

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