SYLACAUGA, Ala. – Monday was a great day in the history of Sylacauga City Schools Foundation as it unveiled three new chairs – The Indian Valley Elementary School Chair, The Pinecrest Elementary School Chair, and The Sylacauga High School Chair.
Over the past 30 years, faculty and staff from each of these schools have donated more than $75,000 of their wages back to Sylacauga’s children through payroll deduction and monetary gifts. This is the first time that a Chair to a school within the system has been awarded, much less three schools. This speaks volumes about the care and concern for the students, the love for the school system, and the investment in the future that the faculty, staff, and administration have shown over three decades.
Mrs. Jane Vaughn, Foundation president, shared to the faculty, “Today is about thanking you. We have never had the opportunity to unveil three Chairs at once, and how wonderful that these three Chairs represent Sylacauga’s finest—our educators. These Chairs represent your generosity and commitment.” Since its inception the Foundation has received $1.9 million in contributions. These gifts have translated into 1,141 grants through the years—grants that help supplement and enhance the classroom. The vision and interest in utilizing these grants by the teachers have affected over 357,000 students through the years.
“This speaks volumes about the love these families have for our schools, especially since some still give today even after their own children have graduated and moved away,” shared Dr. Joe Morton, Founder of the Foundation. In the early years of the Foundation, the first Chairs were through generous donations from major businesses and individuals who were known for supporting non-profit organizations. The quiet and unsolicited contributions began to grow slowly and steadily through honorariums, memorials, and payroll deduction given by faculty and staff over the years. Morton recognized Mrs. Terri Bentley for her years of commitment and service to the Foundation for meticulously compiling these contributions. Morton invited the three principals to share what the Foundation has meant to their respective schools.
Dr. Monte Abner, Indian Valley Principal; Mrs. Julie Green, Pinecrest Principal; and Mr. Chad Murphy, Sylacauga High School Principal each shared the importance of the Foundation to the teachers and students at their schools in supporting the classroom through teacher grants. They each gave examples of grants that have supplemented instruction and have given unique opportunities to their students.
Administrative Assistant for Instruction and System Test Coordinator, Debbie Barnett, announced that since Vaden Toyota’s initial $5,000 investment to the foundation, they have partnered with Sylacauga City Schools Foundation to donate $25 for each vehicle sold from August to December. Vaden has sent the Foundation checks totaling $3,575 since school started. These monies will be used to fund Sylacauga’s math initiative to target math skills through grants for each school. Curt and Kristen Vaden presented the latest check for $1,025 to the Foundation at Monday’s ceremony.
Dr. Jon Segars, Superintendent, expressed much appreciation to the Foundation and invited everyone to adjourn to the foyer for the unveiling of the three bronze plaques and rocking chairs for each school.
The Sylacauga City Schools Foundation continues to strive to improve the quality of education for children by providing financial support to teachers and programs. The school system employs 171 faculty members and 130 support staff to educate, feed, shelter, and transport an average enrollment of 2,200 students. It is ranked #36 among all school systems in Alabama.