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COVID-19 Creativity
 
Since 1983 the Foundation for Excellence has strived to encourage, recognize, and reward excellence in the Clarke County School District.  For many years there have been signature events and protocols that have anchored our efforts to accomplish this mission. Like the rest of the world we have learned to "pivot" during the pandemic; while we desperately miss in person gatherings (like our Award Nominees' Tea in the spring and Award Winners' Reception in the fall), our new and different ways of honoring our stellar CCSD faculty and staff have been very exciting and well received.

                                         

Board member and retired CCSD administrator Tad MacMillan brainstormed the idea of "yard signs" for our 2020 award winners, and another of our talented board members, Shannah Montgomery, created the design. Right before the December holiday release, two were delivered for every honoree--one to be placed at the school or place of work and one to take home. Pictured above are FFE immediate past president Mandy Bernt presenting to Sparkle Harper of Barrow Elementary School, winner of the Howard B. Stroud Community Service Award.

                               

The FFE board of trustees made the difficult decision to suspend our grants process in 2020 due to the virtual nature of education in Clarke County.  We were determined not to allow those funds to be absorbed elsewhere but to use them in some way to show appreciation to our faculty and staff.  We landed on spending a portion of these monies to buy chocolate bars for each and every employee in the district.  This also helped to support a local business, Condor Chocolates, which is owned by two brothers who are CCSD graduates and huge supporters of local public education, Peter and Nick Dale.  Thanks especially to these trustees who spearheaded this initiative for the entire board:  Mandy Bernt who ordered and negotiated with Condor; Mary Garrison and Casey Mull who counted and divided the 3200 plus bars (on Christmas Eve!); and Wanda Culpepper, Berni McCranie, and Vicki Keenan who patiently and methodically placed FFE stickers on the candy.  

Year after year individuals of great competence, caliber, and commitment to public education in Athens join and lead our board of trustees.  Our executive board for 2021 is as follows:

 
President--Wanda Culpepper
President Elect--Berni McCranie
Secretary--Mary Garrison
Treasurer--Glenn Leavell (ex officio)
UGA MBA Fellows--Joe Tereniak and JT Carroll (ex officio)
UGA Intern--Grace Green (ex officio)
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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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