A Happy New Year message from our Board Chair

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Happy New Year 2017

A message from Leslie Kristof, Board Chair

As we enter the New Year, the Education Foundation has completed the first half of its 2016-2017 fiscal year. A great deal has already taken place and a full calendar lies ahead.

Since the Foundation follows the school calendar we started the year with our Welcome Back Celebration. We introduced MIDFLORIDA Credit Union as a new sponsor, along with returning sponsor VALIC as we held a picnic at the Endless Summer Vineyard to welcome back our teachers and staff for another school year. The Foundation and our sponsors awarded over $2000 in Adopt a Classroom Teacher grants to help jumpstart programs in our classrooms. Gary and Susan Roberts, owners of the Vineyard graciously donated the use of the facility and offered wine tastings and tours at a discount.   

We held our Evening for Education annual dinner on Saturday November 5, returning to the Pelican Yacht Club. The event was our 17th annual dinner, raising funds for our Teacher Grants and other programs. The event was a huge success with over 150 attendees raising over $50,000 due to the generosity of Keiser University as the Title Sponsor and PNC Bank, ATT, Bank of America, MIDFLORIDA Credit Union, Law firm of Hoskins Turco Lloyd & Lloyd, Wells Fargo Bank, Jacquin & Sons Construction, and the Law Firm of Dean Mead Minton & Zwemer as grand benefactors.

During 2016 we also awarded 40 Teacher Grants totaling $64,000, an increase of 28% over last year. Teacher Grants represents our largest program each year. We focus our grants on programs that improve literacy and graduation rates. We also support STE@M programs (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math).

We also conducted fundraising activities by selling coupon books and kettle corn through our classrooms and to the public. All of these funds help sustain the operations and programs of the Foundation.

As we enter 2017 we have just published our annual Scholarship Guide, which is now available on this website. All scholarship applications are due by March 17 and the Scholarship Ceremony will be held on May 11 at Fort Pierce Central High School.  This year we recognize and thank Vicki Rodriguez, a Foundation Board Member and President of the CTA/CU for her efforts in raising funds for the Aaron Project Scholarships and several other scholarships.

We are also busy planning for the annual Night of the Stars celebration which recognizes excellence within the School District staff. Each year the Foundation sponsors the event with the leadership of Candace Stone, Foundation Board Member and Assistant Principal. The event announces the Teacher of the Year, Distinguished Minority Educator, Outstanding First Year Teacher and School Related Employee of the Year awards. The event this year is on February 18TH at Lincoln Park Academy. This year we welcome PNC Bank, MIDFLORIDA Credit Union, Keiser University, Proctor Construction and Seacoast Bank as award sponsors.

Finally, we are ready to launch our new STAR Scholars & Workforce Readiness Program, which mentors at risk high school students. Our goal is to inspire students to graduate work ready by being mentored by local businesses.

2017 will be a busy year and we are proud to be a full partner with the School Board and the District Staff as we all help advance K-12 public education. We are thrilled to learn that the School District just announced historic gains in graduation rates, surpassing state averages. We can now see tangible progress as we continue our efforts to further public education.

Happy New Year!

Leslie Kristof
President, Keiser University, Port St Lucie Campus and
Board Chair, St Lucie County Education Foundation, Inc.

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