2020 has certainly been a year of change for all--that definitely includes the Foundation for Excellence Board of Trustees! Like the rest of the world we "went virtual" and continue to meet via Zoom to brainstorm and implement new and different ways to encourage, recognize, and reward excellence in the Clarke County School District.
Due to COVID-19, our yearly signature events--the Award Nominees' Reception in April and the Award Winners' Cocktail Party in October--were canceled. That sent us scurrying to find meaningful and creative ways to spotlight our amazing CCSD faculty and staff.
Our local Synovus (synovus.com) and its predecessor Athens First Bank and Trust, with former FFE trustee Bill Douglas at the helm, has for many years been the prime sponsor of our Award Nominees' Reception hosted by Ron Schwartz and his wonderful staff at Trumps Catering (trumpscatering.com); this venue has so generously kept our costs to a minimum for well over a decade. We spent the money normally earmarked for this party to buy custom printed, high quality FFE masks for our 165 nominees. These were delivered to them at their schools and departments along with their certificates during summer pre-planning.
Georgia United Credit Union (gucu.org) is a staunch supporter of education around the state. The FFE could not ask for a better friend than Ken Chrzanowski, their senior business development officer and former public school teacher. GUCU was set once again to be the major sponsor of our Award Winners' Cocktail Party this fall. We took that money and purchased $100 gift certificates for our 17 winners to A Good Story Foods by Epting Events. Since we had to cancel at their venue, the Cotton Press, we wanted to give this local business some revenue, particularly since the Epting family is so supportive and involved with the CCSD and provides us with such great pricing. They serve authentic Southern comfort food that is ready to thaw, heat, and serve at home (agoodstoryfoods.com).
Michele Pearson Tucker, financial advisor with Edward Jones (edwardjones.com), is a former FFE trustee (and CCSD grad!) who is a committed advocate and ally of our local public schools. She graciously has provided once again the personalized desk plates for our award winners which we consistently purchase at a great price from the Bradley brothers at Athens Trophy Shop (athenstrophyshop.com). These are a HUGE hit with the faculty and staff who receive them.