Teaching, as some other occupations are, is more than simply an occupation.
It is a calling, and a calling in which those who answer it do so knowing they won’t get rich doing it.
And with it being a profession where pursestrings, at all levels, can often be tight, those very teachers can find themselves wanting to do something to better their students’ education, but not having the means to do it.
That’s where an endowment, created back in 2001 at the Fayette County Foundation by a local elementary school principal and others vested in the growth of education, comes into play.
This year alone, the FCF awarded more than $4,000 to teachers throughout the Fayette County School Corporation with its Education Endowment fund, which helped to fund various projects for those teachers and, in turn, their students.
Beth Shank-Fodrea, a teacher at the Whitewater Career Center, received funds for her “Project Draw,” while Shari Phegley at Eastview Elementary School saw her “Healthy Food Choices Garden Project” funded due to the endowment.
Eastview Elementary School teachers Jessica Hufferd and Alisha Bennett received a boost from the endowment for their Robotics Club, while fellow Eastview teacher Julie Myers could have her “Life Cycle of a Plant” project come to fruition with her endowment award. Pocket Lab Digital Sensors were able to be funded for teacher Lindsey Brooks at Connersville Middle School, while teacher Angela Shute at Frazee Elementary School received endowment funds to help renovate the enclosed playground area at the school with the school’s PTO.
All due to the vision, almost two decades ago, of Coy Powell, then-principal of Eastview Elementary School, according to FCF Executive Director Anna Dungan.
In 2001, Coy Powell, Principal of Eastview worked with community members and school board members to create the Education Fund,” she said this week. “The fund was created during Lilly Endowment’s GIFT IV and qualified for a $2 for $1 match.
The endowment, and contributions to it, took off like a rocket, she added. The community went all in.
“Donations from across the county poured in and doubled the initial gift the first year,” Dungan commented. “Local sororities, civic groups, PTOs, and Fayette County School Corporation employees have made this our fastest growing endowment.”
So fast growing that, today, the endowment surpasses the $150,000 mark. It is due to the entire community contributing, not just one standalone donation, that has boosted it to that point.
“No one gift stands out,” Dungan said. “Small gifts throughout the year is what has helped this become a super fund.”
Not only is it a super fund, it is a super effort which, each year, illustrates the very dedication to education the local community has.
All Fayette County School Corporation employees are encouraged to apply for funding from the FCF Education Endowment. For more information on how to apply, contact Tricia Fields at the FCSC Resource Center, 306 W. 16th St., at (765) 827-0191.